Skip to main content

Full text of "The journal of Lewis and Clarke to the mouth of the Columbia River beyond the Rocky Mountains in the years 1804-5, & 6 : giving a faithful description of the river Missouri and its source - of the various tribes of Indians through which they passed - manners and customs - soil - climate -commerce - gold and silver mines - animal and vegetable productions, &c"

See other formats

University  of  California  •  Berkeley 









IN  THE  YEARS  1804—5,  &  6. 












AND  SOLD   BT    B.   «,    XLM, 




The  great  demand  for  the  Journal  of  Lewis  d&  Clarke,  has 
induced  the  re-publication  of  the  work,  with  the  additions  of 
extensive  and  interesting  notes,  and  numerous  illustrations 
on  wood.  We  have  divided  the  work  into  Chapters,  with 
appropriate  captions;  corrected  much  that  was  erroneous,  in 
the  Topography,  and  especially  in  the  Nomenclature  and  Or- 
thography of  the  Proper  Names,  and  the  Philological  errors, 
(of  which  there  were  many,)  have  been  corrected,  where  it 
could  be  done,  without  too  materially  infringing  the  text. 

DAYTON,  Aug.  1,  1840. 

Entered  according  to  act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  1840.  bjr 

B.  F.  ELLS, 
In  the  Clerk's  office  of  the  District  Court  of  Ohio. 



The  expedition  of  Messrs.  LEWIS  and  CLARKE,  for  ex- 
ploring the  river  Missouri,  and  the  best  communication  from 
that  to  tho  Pacific  Ocean,  has  had  all  the  success  which 
could  be  expected.  They  have  traced  the  Missouri  nearly 
to  its  source;  descended  the  Columbia  to  the  Pacific  Ocean; 
ascertained  with  accuracy  tho  Geography  of  that  interesting 
communication  across  the  continent;  learned  the  character 
of  the  country,  its  commerce  and  inhabitants;  and  it  is  but 
justice  to  say  that  Messrs.  Lewis  and  Clarke,  and  their  brave 
companions,  have,  by  this  arduous  service,  deserved  well  of 
their  country. 



In  pursuance  of  a  measure  proposed  to  Congress  by  a  mes- 
sage of  January  l(.ith,  one  thousand  eight  hundred  and  three, 
and  sanctioned  by  their  approbation  for  carrying  it  into  exo 
eution,  Captain  Meriwether  Lewis,  of  the  first  regiment  of 
infantry,  was  appointed  with  a  party  of  men,  to  explore  the 
river  Missouri,  from  its  mouth  to  its  source,  and,  crossing  the 
highlands  by  the  shortest  portage,  to  seek  the  best  water 
communication  thence  to  the  Pacific  Ocean;  and  Lieutenant 
Clarke  was  appointed  second  in  command.  They  were  to 
enter  into  conference  with  the  Indian  nations  on  the  route, 
with  a  view  to  the  establishment  of  commerce  with  them. — 
They  entered  the  Missouri,  May  14th,  1804,  and  on  the  1st 
of  November,  took  up  their  winter  quarters  near  the  Mandan 
towns,  1,609  miles  above  the  mouth  of  the  river,  in  latitude 
47  degrees  21  minutes  27  seconds  north,  and  longitute  S9 
degrees  24  minutes  50  seconds  west  from  Greenwich,  Oa 


the  8t1i  of  April,  1805,  they  proceeded  up  the  river  in  pur 
snance  of  the  objects  prescribed  to  them.  A  letter  of  the 
preceding  day,  April  7th,  from  Captain  Lewis,  is  herewith 
communicated.  During  his  stay  among  tbe  Mandans,  he 
had  been  able  to  lay  down  the  Missouri,  according  to  courses 
and  distances  taken  on  his  passage  up  it,  corrected  by  fre- 
quent observations  of  longitude  and  latitude;  and  to  add  to 
the  actual  survey  of  this  portion  of  the  river,  a  general  map 
of  the  country  between  the  Mississippi  and  the  Pacific,  from 
the  thirty-fourth  to  the  fifty-fourth  degrees  of  latitude.  These 
additions  are  from  information  collected  from  Indians  with 
whom  he  had  the  opportunities  of  communicating,  during  his 
journey  and  residence  with  them.  Copies  of  this  map  are 
now  presented  to  both  houses  of  Congress.  With  these  I 
communicate  also  a  statistical  view,  procured  and  forwarded 
by  him,  of  the  Indian  nations  inhabiting  the  territory  of  Lou- 
isiana, and  the  countries  adjacent  to  its  northern  and  western 
borders;  of  their  commerce,  and  of  other  interesting  eircum- 
*t2jaces  respecting  them. 



The  advantages  that  arise  from  the  discoveries  of  unknown 
regions,  are  too  numerous  to  be  mentioned.  They  arise  one 
after  another  in  continual  succession.  Geography, Civiliza- 
tion, Humanity,  and  the  Arts  and  Sciences,  receive  aid  from 

From  the  !;nr.wledgG  of  Geography  accrues  the  most  in- 
trinsic advantages  of  any  Science  extant.  It  not  only  feasts 
the  imagination  with  the  amusement  of  nov'el  descriptions; 
but  is  the  Jife  of  commerce,  whcr.ce  the  arts  and  sciences  re- 
ceive succour,  and  a  reciprocal  exchange. 

It  cannot  fail  of  gmn^  pleasure  to  the  philanthropic  mind, 
to  behold  implements  of  agriculture  put  in  the  hands  of  the 
uncivilized  barbarian,  to  provide  and  protect  him  from  the 
precarious  reliance  on  the  chase  for  a  scanty  sustenance. — • 
The  time  is  not  far  distant,  in  all  moral  probability,  when  the 
uncultivated  wilds  of  the  interior  part  of  the  continent,  which 
is  now  only  inhabited  by  the  tawny  sons  of  the  forest,  and 
the  howling  beasis  of  prey,  will  be  exchanged  for  the  hardy 
votaries  of  agriculture,  who  will  turn  the  steril  wilderness 
into  rich  cultivated  and  verdant  fields. 

It  may  be  suggested  that  the  intolerable  sufferings  of  the 
Aborigines,  from  the  importation  of  foreign  diseases,  and 
the  more  banetiil  influence  of  spirituous  liquors,  more  than 
counterbalance  the  benefits  ihat  they  receive  from  civiliza- 
tion. These  objections,  it  must  be  frankly  confessed,  are 
very  powerful.  Hut  it  is  hoped,  that  vigilent  measures  will 
be  pursued,  by  a  government  professed  to  be  founded  en  the 
princip'es  of  humanity  and  wisdom,  to  prohibit  the  introduc- 
tion of  spirituous  liquors  among  them.  The  small  pox  has 
raged,  when  lit'le  or  no  communication  was  held  with  them. 
Provisions  are  already  made  to  introduce  vaccine  inoccula- 


tion  among  thorn,  which  will  prevent  those  horrid  ravage* 
which  arc  mentioned  in  the  course  of  the  work. 

Curiosity  is  often  excited  to  contemplate,  that  regions,  up- 
wards of  three  thousand  miles  in  length,  bordering  on  a  coun- 
try inhabited  by  an  inquisitive  and  enterprising  people,  who 
could  avail  themselves  of  the  benefit  of  a  lucrative  fur  trade, 
should  remain  so  long  unexplored.  Many  impediments  have 
retarded  the  tour,  that  has  laid  open  to  view  a  country  hith- 
erto hidden  from  the  knowbdge  of  the  civilized  American. 

Attempts  have  been  made,  by  the  great  discoverer,  Cap- 
ta'n  Cook,  to  find  a  communication  by  water  in  the  northern 
regions  between  the  Atlantic  and  Pacific  Ocean.  Whether 
the  two  great  oceans  are  joined  together  in  those  regions  re- 
mains an  uncertainty;  but  the  rigors  of  a  frigid  zone  evin- 
ced, that  though  they  joined  it,  it  was  impracticable  to  navi- 
gate between  them. 

To  travel  among  the  Indians,  is  but  to  often  thought  the 
road  that  inevitably  leads  the  unfortunate  adventurer  to  an 
untimely  death.  The  barbarity  oj'the  Indians  in  war  is  pro- 
verbial; but  in^time  of  peace,  hospitality  and  humanity  are 
traits  justly  due  to  their  character.  It  is  a  judicious  saying 
of  an  eminent  traveller  arptngthem,  that,  "in  time  of  peace 
no  greater  friend?,  in  time  of  war  no  greater  enemies." 

Before  the  acquisition  of  Louisiana  i>y  the  United  States, 
the  jealous  disposition  of  the  Spaniards  debarred  all  adven- 
tures for  discoveries  from  that  quarter. 

These  impediments  would  compel  the  discoveries  of  the 
western  part  of  the  continent,  to  be  made  by  a  voyage  by  the 
way  of  Cape  Horn,  which  would  be  too  Jong,  ardous  and  ex- 
pensive to  entice  the  enterprise. 

In  the  year  1789,  the  celebrated  traveller  Alexander  Mac- 
kenzie embarked  from  Fort  Chcpewyan,  in  lat.  5S,  N.  Ion. 
110,  W.  from  Greenwich,  and  with  the  greatest  fortitude, 
under  embarrassing  and  perilous  circumstances,  he  with  as- 
siduity explored  the  northern  region  to  nearly  the  70lh  de- 
gree of  north  latitude,  where  obstruction  by  ice  compelled  him 
to  return  to  Fort  Chepevvyan.  Thence  he  ascended  Peace 
River  to  its  source,  and  thence  to  the  Pacific  ocean;  making 
many  discoveries  which  he  judiciously  narrated  in  hie  jour- 


ichig  statement  <f  Ike  Commerce  of  the  Missouri,  u 
made  by  a  gentleman  ^  which  will  sufficiently  show  the  ad- 
vantages that  arise  from  it. 

"The  products  whicli  arc  drawn  frowr  the  Missouri,  are 
obtained  from  the  Indians  and  hunters  in  exchange  for  mer- 
chandise. They  may  be  classed  according  to  the  subjoined 

D      C 




1  228  libs     at 

1  20 




1287  skins 

4  00 



Foxs,              ) 

PouhaFoxs,   > 

802  skins 

0  50 



Tigars  Cats,  \ 

Raccoonr  f 

4248  skins 

0  25 



Bears,  black  ) 

2541  ekins 

2  CO 



gray  &&  yell.  ^ 



1714  skins 

3  CO 



Dressed  cow  hides 

189  skins 

1   50 



Shorn  deer  skins, 

9682(5  Ibs 

0  40 



Deer  skinsy 
with  hci:,  \ 

0381  skins 

0  50 

3  ICO 


Talloxv  and  fat, 

8313  Ibs 

0  20 



Bear's  oil, 

23  10  galls 

1   23 




Mnrf  priR_ 

$77971  20 

"The  calculations  in  this  table,  drawn  from  the  most  cor- 
rect accounts  of  the  produce  of  the  Missouri,  during  fifteen 
years,  make  the  average  of  a  com n  on  year  $77,971. 

U0ri  calculating,  in  the  game  proportion,  the  amount  of 
merchandize  entering  the  Missouri,  and  given  in  exchange  for 
peltries,  it  is  found  that  it  amounts  $6 1 ,250,  including  expen- 
ses, equal  to  one  fourth  of  the  value  of  the  merchandize. 

"The  result  is,  that  tins  commerce  givc-6  an  annual  profit 
of  $16,721,  or  about  27  per  cent. 

"If  the  commerce  of  the  Missouri,  without  encouragement, 
and  badly  regulated,  gives  annually  so  great  a  profit,  may  w» 


not  rest  assured  that  it  will  be  greatly  augmented,  should 
government  direct  its  attention  to  ill  It  is  also  necessary 
to  observe,  that  the  price  of  peltry,  fixed  by  this  table,  is  the 
current  price  in  Illinois:  if  it  were  regulated  by  the  pri- 
ces of  London,  deducting  the  expenses  of  transportation,  the 
profit,  according  to  our  calculation,  would  be  much  more  con- 

"If  the  Missouri,  abandoned  to  savages,  and  presenting 
but  one  branch  of  commerce,  yields  sucti  great  advantages, 
in  proportion  to  the  capital  employed  in  it,  what  might  we 
not  hope,  if  some  merchants  or  companies  with  large  capi- 
tal, and  aided  by  a  population  extended  along  the  borders  of 
the  river,  should  turn  their  attentioi  to  other  branches  of  the 
trade,  which  they  might  undertake  (I  daresay)  with  a  cer- 
tainty of  success,  when  we  consider  the  riches  buried  in  its 
banks,  and  of  which  I  have  endeavored  in  these  notes  to  give 
an  idea. 


Mine  at  Burton,  oar         550,0001bs 
produce  60S  is  336,66GI  Ibs 

lead  at  $5,  is  18,333  33 

To  which  add  30  (on 
I20,0091bs  manufac- 
tured) to  each  thou- 
sand, is  3,600  00 

21,933  33 

*01d  Mines,  200,000  Ibs  mi- 

neral,   estimated   to'  produce   608 
is  133,33*  Ibs  lead  at  $5  per  cwt.  is  6,686  67 

"Mine  at  la  Mott,         20D,QQQ  Ibs 

lead  at  f  5  per  cwt  is  10,000  00 

*«S:ippose  at  all  the  other  mines 

30,00()lbs  lead,  at  $3,  is  1,530  00 

18,166  67 

Total  amount,  is         $40,100  00 
**When  the  manufacture  of  white  and  read  lead  is  put  in- 
to operation,  the  export  valuation  wiJl  bo  considerably  aug- 
mented on  the  quality  of  lead/* 




On  the  14th  of  31  ay,  1804,  we  embarked  from  St.  Louis 
on  our  expedition.  Having1,  previous  to  our  setting  out,  pro- 
vided ourselves  with  every  thing  requisite  for  the  prosecution 
of  the  voyage,  which  consisted  of  Urge  quantities  of  ama- 
nition  and  fire-arms,  for  the  purpose  of  protecting  us  from  the 
hostile  attacks  of  the  natives,  and  for  procuring  us  food. — - 
We  likewise  took  a  large  quantity  of  ornaments,  consisting 
of  medals,  trinkets,  &c.  for  the  purpose  of  gaining  a  favora- 
ble reception  among  the  Indians,  and  :.o  procure  us  such  ar- 
ticles of  use  as  oursitaation  required. 

Our  company,  consisting  of  forty-three,  were  generally 
divided  into  two  companies;  the  one  for  hunting,  who  trav- 
elled by  land,  and  overtook  the  other  party  at  night,  who 
were  in  our  water  conveyance,  which  consibtsd  only  of  two 
small  perogues  and  a  batteau.  We  were  compelled  to  en- 
camp by  night  on  the  banks  of  the  river;  our  vessel  being  too 
light  to  sail  except  by  day. 

The  great  object  of  our  expedition  was  to  aid  Commerce 
&nd  promote  Emigration. 

'1  he  country  bordering  on  the  Missouri  produces  immense 
quantities  of  fur,  which  can  be  purchased  of  the  Indians  for 
a  mere  trifle,  and  which  can  be  easily  transported  from  the 
head  of  the  Missouri  to  the  Columbia  river  with  very  little 
expense,  considering  the  low  rate  that  horses  can  be  purchas- 
ed from  the  Snake  Indians  (who  inhabit  the  country  at  the 
bead  of  the  Missouri)  to  transport  them  to  the  Columbia  ri- 
ver, and  thence  to  China  by  a  very  short  route. 

This  trade  would  give  employment  to  an  immense  number 
of  inhabitants,  and  the  country  is  sufficiently  luxuriant  for 
the  population  of  an  immense  colony. 



T&?  Missouri— Lergth — Color —  Variovs  ether  river* — Indi- 
an tribes — Prainrs  on  fire — Glstmrtions  in  Ike  river — • 
Trees — thiir  size-^Plantx — Products  rf  the  soil — Salt 
Springs — Salt  pet  re — Stones—  Volcancei — Good  Spirit 
and  Evil  Spirit — Oar* — (Salines  on  the  Arkansas) — Salt 
Mines,  fyc. 

The  Missouri  is  already  ranked  among-  the  greatest  rivers. 
It  is  an  object  of  astonishment  to  the  whole  world.  The 
curious  mind  admires  its  rapidity,  length,  salubrious  water, 
and  is  astonished  at  its  color,  while  the  reflecting  mind  ad- 
mires the  innumerable  riches  scattered  on  its  banks,  and  fore- 
seeing th^  future,  beholds  already  this  rival  of  the  Mile,  flow- 
ing through  countries  as  fertile  and  populous,  and  as  exten- 
sive as  those  of  Egypt. 

A  traveller,  however  intelligent  he  may  be,  can  give  but 
a  faint  idea  of  the  innumerable  riches  accumulated  on  its 
banks.  This  sketch  will  barely  point  out  the  most  impor- 

The  Missouri  joins  the  Mississippi  five  leagues  above  th« 
town  of  St.  Louis,  about  the  4Cth  degree  of  north  latitude. 
It  is  necessary  to  observe,  that  after  uniting;  with  the  Mis- 
sissippi, it  flows  througli  a  space  of  1^00  miles  before  it 
empties  itself  into  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  As  this  part  of  its 
course  is  well  known,  I  shall  speak  of  the  Missouri  only. — 
I  ascended  about  six  hundred  leagues,  without  perceiving  a 
diminution  either  in  its  width  or  rapidity.  The  principal 
rivers  which  empty  into  the  Missouri  are  as  you  ascend,  the 
Gasconade,  the  river  of  the  Usages,  the  two  Charaturns,  the 
Great  river,  the  river  Des  Cariips,  Nichinen,  Batoiiey,  the 
Great  and  little  Nimaha,  the  river  Platte,  the  river  des  Sioux, 
and  L'Eau  Qui  Court. 

As  far  as  twenty-five  leagues  above  its  jurction  with  tbe 
Mississippi,  are  to  be  found  different  settlements  of  Ameri- 
can families,  viz:  at  Bonhoinme,  and  Feme  Cfeage,  &c.;  be- 
yond this  its  banks  are  inhabited  only  by  savage  nations — the 
Great  and  little  Usages,  settled  one  hundred  and  twenty 
league*  on  the  xiver  of  that  iiwuej  luu  Camp*,  the  Otto*,  tb* 


Panis,  the  loups  or  Pants  Mahas,  the  Mahas,  the  Poukas,  the 
Hicars,  the  Mandanes,  and  the  Sioux;  the  last  nation  is  not 
fixed  on  the  banks  of  the  Missouri,  but  habitually  goes  there 
to  hunt. 

The  banks  of  the  Missouri  are  alternately  woods  and  prai- 
ries; it  is  remarked  that  the  higher  you  ascend  this  river, 
the  more  common  are  these  prairies,  and  they  seem  to  in- 
crease every  year  by  the  fires  which  are  kindled  every  au- 
tumn by  the  savages  or  white  hunters,  either  by  chance  of 
the  design  of  facilitating  their  hunting.* 

*  "We  have  no  means  of  determining  at  what  period  the 
fires  began  to  sweep  over  these  plains,  because  we  know  not 
when  they  began  to  be  inhabited.  It  is  quite  possible  that 
they  might  have  been  occassionlly  fired  by  lightning  pre- 
vious to  the  introduction  of  that  element  by  human  agency. 
At  all  events,  it  is  very  evident  that  as  soon  as  the  fire  be- 
gan to  be  used  in  this  country  by  its  inhabitants,  the  annual 
burning  of  the  prairie  must  have  commenced. 

"One  of  the  peculiarities  of  this  climate  is  the  dryness  of 
its  summers  and  autumns.  A  drought  often  commences  in 
August,  which  with  the  exception  of  a  few  showers  towards 
the  close  of  that  month,  continues,  with  little  interruption, 
throughout  the  fall  season.  The  auttrmnal  months  are  al- 
most invariably  cleir,  warm  and  dry.  The  immense  mass 
of  vegetation,  with  which  this  fertile  soil  loads  itself  during 
the  summer,  is  suddenly  withered,  and  the  whole  earth  cov- 
ered with  combustible  materials.  This  is  especially  true  of 
the  prairies,  where  the  grass  grows  from  two  to  ten  feet  high, 
and  being  entirely  exposed  to  the  action  of  the  sun  and  wind, 
dries  with  great  rapidity.  A  single  spark  of  fire,  falling 
any  where  upon  these  plains,  at  such  a  time,  instantly  kin- 
dles a  blaze,  that  spreads  on  every  side,  and  continues  its 
destructive  course  as  long  as  it  finds  fuel. 

"Travelers  have  described  these  fires  as  sweeping  with  a 
rapidity,  which  renders  it  hazardous  even  to  fly  before  them; 
and  our  children's  books  and  school  geographies  are  embel- 
lished with  plates,  representing  men,  horses,  and  wild  ani- 
mals, retreating  at  full  speed,  and  with  every  mark  of  terror, 


The  waters  of  the  Missouri  are  mudt'y,  and  contain  through- 
out  its  course  a  sediment  of  very  fine  sand,  which  soon  pre- 
cipitates; but  this  circumstance,  which  renders  them  disa- 
greeable to  the  sight,  lakes  nothing  from  their  salubrity. 

Experience  has  proved,  that  the  waters  of  the  Missouri 
are  rr.ore  wholesome  than  those  of  the  Ohio,  or  the  upper 
Mississippi.  The  rivers  and  s  reams,  which  empty  into  the 
Missouri,  below  the  river  JPlatte,  are  clear  and  limpid,  but 
above  this  river,  they  are  as  n:uddy  as  those  of  the  Missouri 
itself.  This  is  occasioned  by  beds  of  sand,  or  hills  of  a  very 
fine  white  earth,  where  they  take  their  rise. 

The  bed  of  the  Missouri  is  obstructed  with  hanks,  some- 
times of  sand  and  sometimes  gravel,  which  frequently  change 
their  place,  and  consequently  render  navigation  always  un- 
certain. Its  course  is  generally  west  by  nor.h-w.esi. 

To  give  a  precise  idea  of  the  incalculable  riches  scattered 
on  the  banks  of  the  Missouri,  would  require  unbounded 

before  the  devouring  element.  These  are  exaggerations0 
If  instances  of  this  kind  of  danger  have  ever  occurred,  they 
have  been  rare.  There  is  not  an  authenticated  case,  on  re- 
cord, or  in  tradition,  in  which  a  man  or  an  animal  has  been 
burned  by  these  fires,  unless  he  was  drunk  or  wounded. 
(The  burning  of  several  Indians  mentioned  by  Lewis  and 
Clarke,  was  probably  the  result  of  some  unusual  accident, 
which  they  did  not  think  necessary  to  explain.)  The  thick 
sward  of  the  prairie  presents  a  considerable  mass  of  fuel, 
and  offers  a  barrier  to  the  progress  of  the  flame,  not  easily 
surmounted.  The  fire  advances  slowly,  and  with  power. 
The  heat  is  intense.  The  flames  often  extend  across  a  wide 
prairie,  and  advance  in  a  long  line,  No  sight  can  be  mow 
sublime,  than  to  behold  at  night,  a  stream  of  fire  several 
miles  in  breadth*  advancing  across  these  plainsy  leaving  N- 
hind  it  a  black  cloud  of  smoke,  and  throwing  before  it » T*- 
vid  glare  which  lights  up  the  whoie  landscape  with  tb  Bril- 
liancy of  noonday.  A  roaring  and  cracking  sound  &  neard 
like  the  rushing  of  a  hurricane.  The  flame,  whic*  *n  gener- 
al riees  to  the  height  of  about  twenty  feet,  is  >cen  finking , 


The  flats  are  covered  with  huge  trees;  the  Liardor  pop> 
liir;  the  sycamore,  out  of  one  piece  of  which  are  made  ca- 
',  which  carry  almost  18,000  cwt;  the  maple  which  af- 
fords the  inhabitants  a  wholesome  and  agreeable  sugar;  the 
wild  cherry  tree,  and  the  red  and  black  walnut,  so  useful  in 
jpihers  work;  the  red  and  white  elm,  neccssiry  to  cartwrights; 
thelriacanthos,  which,  when  well  trimmed,  forms  impene- 
trable hedges;  the  water  willow,  the  white  and  red  mulber- 
ry tree,  &c.  &c. 

On  the  shores  are  found,  in  abundance,  the  white  and  black 
oak,  proper  for  every  kind  of  shipwrights'  and  carpenters' 
'work.  The  pine,  59  easily  worked,  and  the  stony  moun- 
tains the  durable  cedar. 

It  would  be  impossible  to  detail  all  the  species  of  trees, 
even  those  unknown  in  other  countries,  and  the  use  that  can 
be  made  of  them,  of  which  we  are  still  ignorant. 

and  darting  upward  in  spires,  precisely  as  the  waves  dash 
"against  each  other,  and  as  the  spray  flies  up  into  the  air; 
and  the  whole  appearance  is 'often  that  of  a  boiling  and 
flaming  sea,  violently  agitated.  The  progress  of  the  fire  is 
eo  slow,  and  the  heat  so  great,  that  every  combustible  ma- 
terial in*  its  course  is  consumed.  The  root  of  the  prairie- 
grass1  alone,  by  some  peculiar  adaptation  of  nature,  is  spared; 
for  of  most  other  vegetables,  not  only  is  the  stem  destroyed, 
but,  the  vital  principle  extinguished.  Woe  to  the  farmer, 
wliose  ripe  corn  fields  extend  into  the  prairie,  and  who  has 
carelessly  suffered  the  tall  grass  to  grow  in  contact  with  his 
fences!  The  whole  labor  cf  the  year  is  swept  away  in  a  few 
hours.  But  such  accidents  are  comparitively  unfrequent,  as 
the  preventive  is  simple,  and  easily  applied.  A  narrow  strip 
of  bare  ground  prevents  the  fire  from  extending  to  the  space 
Beyond  it.  A  beaten  road,  of  the  width  of  a  single  wagon 
tr^k,  arrests  its  progress.  The  treading  of  the  domestic 
annuls  around  the  inclosures  of  the  farmer  offords  often  a 
sufficient  protection,  by  destroying  the  fuel  in  their  vicinity; 
"and  in  v>r  cases  a  few  furrows  are  drawn  round  the  field 
the  wild  grass  is  closely  mowed  down  on 
uee."~ -Hall's  Statistics  of  the  West. 


The  plants  are  still  more  numerous:  I  will  pass  lightly 
over  this  article,  for  the  want  of  sufficient  botanical  knowl- 
edge. The  Indians  are  well  acquainted  with  the  virtues  of 
many  of  them:  they  make  use  of  them  to  heal  their  wounds 
and  to  poison  their  arrows;  they  also  use  different  kinds  of 
Savoyanues,  to  dye  different  colors;  they  have  one  which  is 
a  certain  and'prornpt  cure  for  the  venereal  disease. 

The  lands  on  the  borders  of  the  Missouri  are  excellent, 
and  when  cultivated  are  capable  of  yielding  abundantly  all 
the  productions  of  the  temperate,  and  even  some  of  the  warm 
climates;  wheat,  maize  and  every  species  of  grain,  Irish  po- 
tatoes, and  excellent  sweet  potatoes,  hemp  seems  here  to  be 
an  indigenous  plant;  even  cotton  succeeds,  though  not  as 
well  as  in  more  southerly  countries;  its  culture,  however, 
yields  a  real  advantage  to  the  inhabitants,  settled  on  the 
banks  of  the  Missouri,  who  raise  from  two  acres  sufficient 
for  the  wants  of  their  families. 

The  natural  prairies  are  a  great  resource,  being  of  them- 
selves excellent  pasturages,  and  facilitating  the  labors  of  the 
man  who  is  just  settled,  and  who  can  thus  enjoy,  with  little 
labor,  from  the  first  year,  a  considerable  crop.  (Clay  fit  for 
making  brick  is  very  common:  there  is  also  Fayance  clay, 
and  every  species  of  clay,  which,  in  the  opinion  of  intelli- 
gent persons,  is  the  real  koaolin  to  which  the  porcelain  of 
China  owes  the  whole  of  its  reputation. 

There  are  found  on  the  borders  of  the  Missouri  many 
springs  of  salt  water  of  every  kind,  which  will  be  more  than 
sufficient  for  the  consumption  of  the  country,  when  it  shall 
become  inhabited. 

Salt-petre  is  fond  here  in  great  abundance,  in  numberless 
caves,  which  are  met  with  along  the  banks  of  the  river. 

The  stones  are  generally  calcareous  and  gates.  There  i* 
one  found  also,  which  I  believe  to  be  peculiar  to  the  banks  of 
the  Missouri*  It  is  of  blood  red  colour,  compact,  soft  under 
the  chisel,  and  hardens  in  the  air,  and  is  susceptible  of  a  most 
beautiful  polish.  The  Indians  make  use  of  it  for  their  ealu- 
muts;  and  from  the  extent  of  its  layers  it  might  be  easily 
employed  in  more  important  works.  They  have  also  quar- 
ries of  marble>  of  which .  we  only  know  the  colour;  they  are 


streaked  with  read.  One  quarry  is  well  known  anl  easily 
worked,  namely,  a  species  of  plaster,  which  we  are  assured  is 
of  the  eame  nature  as  that  of  Paris,  ai.d  of  which  the  Uni- 
ted States  make  a  great  use;  we  also  found  volcanic  stones, 
which  demonstrate  the  ancient  existence  of  unknown  vol- 

We  are  confirmed  in  the  belief,  that  there  were  volcan- 
oes in  some  of  their  mountains,  by  the  intelligence  that  we 
received  from  the  Indians;  who  informed  us,  "that  the  Evil 
Spirit  was  mad  at  Kcd  people,  and  caused  the  mountains  to 
vomit  fire,  sand,  gravel,  and  largo  stones,  to  terrify  and  de- 
stroy them;  but  the  Good  Spirit  had  compassion  on  them, 
and  put  out  the  fire,  chased  the  Ev!l  Spirit  out  of  the  moun- 
tains, and  left  them  unhurt,  but  when  they  returned  to  their 
wickedness,  the  Great  Spirit  had  permitted  the  Evil  Spirit 
to  return  to  the  mountains  again,  and  vomit  up  fire;  but  on 
their  becoming  good  and  making  sacrifices,  the  Great  Spirit 
chased  away  ths  Eoil  Spirit  from  disturbing  them,  and  for 
forty  snows  (forty  years)  he  had  not  permitted  him  to  re- 

The  short  stay  we  generally  made  among  the  savage  na- 
tions prevented  us  from  making  those  researches  which  would 
have  supplied  us  with  more  extensive  information,  respect- 
ing the  various  mines  found  on  the  borders  of  the  Missouri; 
we  know  with  certainty,  only  those  of  iron,  lead  anil  coal; 
there  is  however,  no  doubt,  but  there  are  some  of  tin,  of  cop- 
per, of  silver,  and  even  of  gold,  according  to  the  account  of 
the  Indians,  who  have  found  some  particles  or  dust  of  theso 
metals  either  on  the  surface  of  the  earth,  or  on  the  banks  of 
email  torrents. 

I  consider  it  a  duty  at  thesnms  time  to  give  an  idea  of  ths 
salt  mines  and  the  salines,  which  are  found  in  tho  same  lati- 
tude on  the  branches  of  the  river  Arkansas.  At  about  300 
miles  from  the  village  of  the  Great  Dsages,  in  a  westerly  di- 
rection, after  having  passed  several  brandies  of  the  river 
Arkansas,  we  find  a  flat  surrounded  by  hills  of  an  immense 
extent,  and  about  15  leagues  in  diameter;  the  soil  is  black 
Band,  very  fine,  and  so  hard  that  the  horses  hardly  leave  a 
trace.  During  a  warm  and  dry  season,  there  exhales  from  this 


'flat,  vapours,  which  after  being  condensed,  fall  on  this  black 
Band,  and  cover  it  with  an  incrustation  of  salt,  very  white 
and  fino,  and  about  half  an  inch  thick;  and  rains  destroy  thin 

At  about  18  miles  from  this  flat,  there  are  (bund  mines  of 
genuine  salt,  near  the  surface  of  the  earth:  the  Indians  who 
are  well  acrjiriinted  with  them,  are  obliged  to  use  levers,  to 
break  and  raise  it. 

At  a  distance  of  about  15  leagues  from  the  flat,  of  which 
we  have  just  spoken,  and  in  a  Foutherly  direction,  there  is  a 
second  mine  of  genuine  salt  of  the  same  nature  as  the  other. 
These  two  mmes  differ  only  in  colour;  the  fi^t  borders  on 
a  blue,  the  second  approaches  a  red.  In  short  much  further 
eouth,  and  still  on  the  branches  of  the  Arkansas,  is  a  saline, 
which  may  be  considered  as  one  of  the  most  interesting  phe- 
nomena in  nature. 

On  the  declivity  of  a  small  hill  there  are  five  holes,  about 
a  foot  and  a  half  in  diameter,  and  two  in  depth,  always  full 
of  salt  water,  without  ever  overflowing.  If  a  person  were 
to  draw  any  of  this  salt,  water,  the  hole  would  immediately 
fill  itself;  and  about  ten  feet  lower ,  there  flows  from  this  same 
hill,  a  largo  stream  cf  pure  and  sweet  water. 

If  this  country  was  peopled,  the  working  of  these  genuine 
salt  mines  would  be  very  easy,  by  means  of  the  river  Arkansas. 
This  species  of  salt  is  found  by  experience  to  be  far  prefera- 
ble to  any  other  for  salting  provisions. 

Should  these  xotes,  imperfect  and  without  order,  but  in 
every  respect  founded  on  truth,  and  observations  made  by 
myself,  cite  the  curiosity  of  men  of  intelligence,  capable  of 
investigating  the  objects  which  they  have  barely  suggested, 
I  do  not  doubt  but  that  incalculable  advantages  would  result  , 
to  the  United  States,  and  especially  to  the  district  of  Lou- 


THE    FUR   TRADE,   &/C. 

By  whom  carried  on — Best  market — Country  at  the  head  of 
the  Missouri  and  Columbia — Snake  Indians — Their  wretch- 
edness— Food —  Character — Personal  appearance — Price 
of  a  horse — Flat  heads — Origin  of  the  name — Kindness — 
Honesty  >  fyc. 

It  is  impossible  to  give  an  exact  account  of  the  Peltries, 
which  are  brought  down  the  Mississippi,  as  they  are  imme- 
diately transported  to  Canada,  without  passing  any  port  of 
this  country:  we  can  obtain  a  true  statement  only  from  the 
settlements  on  the  Lakes.  It  is  but  a  short  time  since  the 
Red  river  was  explored. 

After  leaving  the  river  Des  Moines,  the  Fur  trade  from  the 
Upper  Missouri  is  carried  on  by  British  houses,  and  almost 
the  whole  of  the  Furs  which  are  obtained  from  the  other  In- 
dian traders,  are  also  sent  to  Canada,  where  they  command 
much  higher  prices  than  at  New  Orleans;  where,  in  fact, 
there  is  no  demand  for  them.  It  is  also  necessary  to  observe, 
that  the  further  north  we  go,  the  greater  the  value  for  the 
peltries.  It  is  but  a  few  years  since  peltries  were  exported 
from  America,  by  way  of  the  Ohio.  It  is  to  be  desired,  that 
the  eastern  part  of  America  should  encourage  this  exporta- 
tion, by  raising  the  prices  of  peitries  to  nearly  those  of 

The  country  at  the  head  of  the  Missouri  and  Columbia 
river  bears  a  great  similarity;  being  cold  and  very  sterile,  ex- 
cept in  pasturage  only.  At  the  foot  of  the  mountain,  at  the 
head  of  the  Missouri,  lives  a  tribe  of  Indians,  called  Serpen- 
tine or  Snake  Indians]  who  are  the  most  abject  and  misera- 
ble of  the  human  race,  having  little  besides  the  features  of 
human  beings. 

They  live  in  a  most  wretched  state  of  poverty,  subsisting 
on  berries  and  fish;  the  former  they  manufacture  into  a  kind 
of  bread,  which  is  very  palatable,  but  posssses  very  little 
nutricious  quality.  The  only  article  of  value  which  they 
possess  is  horses,  in  which  the  country  abounds,  and  in  very 


nerere  winters  they  are  compelled  to  subsist  on  thorn,  for 
the  want  of  a  better  substituto  for  food. 

They  are  a  very  harmless  inoffensive  people;  when  we  first 
made  our  appearance  among  them,  they  were  filled  with  ter- 
ror, many  of  them  fled,  while  the  others  who  remained,  were 
in  tears,  but  were  soon  pacified  by  tokens  of  friendship,  and 
by  presents  of  beads,  &c.,  which  soon  convinced  them  of  our 
friendly  disposition. 

The  Snake  Indians  are  in  their  stature  crooked,  which  is 
a  peculiarity,  as  it  does  not  characterize  any  other  tribe  or 
Indians,  that  came  within  the  compass  of  our  observation.  - 
To  add  to  this  deformity,  they  have  high  cheek  bones,  lagre 
light  colored  eyes,  and  are  very  meagre,  which  gives  them  a 
frightful  aspect. 

With  an  axe  we  could  purchase  of  them  a  good  horse,  we- 
purchased  twenty-seven  from  them,  which  did  not  cost 
more  than  one  hundred  dollars;  which  will  be  a  favora- 
ble circumstance  for  transporting  Fur  over  to  the  Columbia 

At  the  head  of  the  Columbia  river,  resides  a  tribe  by  the 
name  Pallotepallors  or  Flat  Heads;  the  latter  name  they  de- 
rive from  an  operation,  which  renders  the  top  of  the  head 
flat;  which  is  performed  while  they  are  infants,  when  the 
bones  of  the  cranium  are  soft  and  elastiej  and  are  easily 
brought  to  the  desired  deformity.  The  operation  is  perform- 
ed by  tying  boards,  hewn  to  a  proper  shape  for  the  purpose, 
which  they  cornpres  on  the  head.  In  performing  this  singu- 
lar operation.,  many  infants,  I  think  without  doubt,  lose  their 
lives.  The  more  they  get  the  head  misshapen,  it  is  consid- 
ered with  them  the  greater  beauty. 

They  are  very  kind  and  hospitable  people.  We  left  in 
charge  with  them  when  descending  the  Columbia  river,  our 
horses,  which  they  kept  safely.  '1  hey  likewise  found  where 
we  had  concealed  our  ammunition  in  the  earth;  and  had  they 
not  been  an  honest  people,  and  preserved  it  safe,  our  lives 
must  have  been  inevitably  lost;  they  delivered  up  the  whole, 
without  wishing  to  reserve  any,  or  to  receive  for  it  a  compen- 

They,  like  the  Snake   Indians  abound  in  horses,  whichi 


euboist  in  the  winter  season  on  a  shrub,  which  they  call 
evergreen;  which  bears  a  Urge  leaf,  and  is  tolerably  uu- 
tricious;  they  likewise  feed  upon  the  side  of  hills  which 
gush  out  small  tnrirgs  of  water,  which  melt  the  snow,  and 
afford  pasture.  In  this  manner  our  hurses  subsisted  while 
going  over  the  rocky  mountains. 

The  country  inhabited  by  the  Snake  and  Flathead  Indians 
produces  but  very  little  game. 

•Captain  Clarke  kept  an  account  of  the  distances  of  places 
from  one  to  another;  which  were  not  kept  by  myself,  for 
which  raacon  I  hope  it  will  Le  a  sufficient  apdogy  lor  sub- 
joining two  of -his  statements. 


LETTER   FROM    CAP!  AI\    CLARKE    TO    HIS    EX- 

Fort  Mandan,  April  2d, 

"Dear  Sir, 

"By  t.h?  return  of  a  party  which  w'e  sent  from 
this  place  with  despatches.  I  <!o  myself  the  pleasure  of  giv- 
ing you  a  summary  view  of  the  Missouri,  &c. 

"In  ascending  as  high  as  the  Kanzas  river,  which  is  three 
hundred  and  thirty-four  miles  up  the  Missouri:  on  the  south 
west  side,  we  met  a  strong  current,  which  was  from  five  to 
seven  miles  an  hour:  the  bottom  is  extensive,  and  covered 
with  timber,  the  high  country  is  interspersed  with  rich 
handsome  prairies,  well  wateroJ,  and  abound  m  deer  and 
bears;  in  ascending  as  high  as  the  river  Platte  we  met  a  cur- 
rent less  rapid,  nor  exceeding  six  miles  an  hour.  In  this 
distance  we  passed  several  small  rivers  on  each  eide,  which 
water  some  fine]y  diversified  country,  principally  prunes,  as 
between  Vincennes  and  Illinois,  the  bottoms  continue  wide, 
and  covered  wi  h  tijiber;  this  river  is  about  six  thousand 
yards  wide,  at  the  mouth,  not  navigable;  it  heads  in  the 
rocky  mountains,  with  the  North  River:  and  Yellow  Stone 
river,  and  passes  through  an  open  country  Fifteen  leagues 
up  this  river  the  Ottoes  and  Thirty  Missouries  live,  in  one 
village,  and  can  raise  two  hundred  uien;  fifteen  leagues  high- 


crup,  tli3  P-tncna  and  Panea  Republicans  live  in  one  villagev 
end  can  raise  seven  hundred  men.  Up  the  wolf  fork  of  thii 
river,  Papia  Louisa  live  in  one  village,  and  can  raise  two 
hundred  and  eighty  men;  these  Indians  have  partial  ruptures 
frequently.  River  Phttte  is  six  hundred  and  thirty  miles  up 
the  Missouri;  oil  the  south  west  side.  Here  we  find  the  An- 
tolope  or  (jJoat.  The  next  river  of  size  ascending,  is  the 
Stone  river,  commonly  called  by  the  Ingaseix,  Little  river 
Desirous;  it  takes  its  raise  in  hike  l)is;>ice,  fifteen  miles  from 
the  river  Demoir,  nnd  i»  sixty-four  yards  wide,  here  commen- 
ces the  Sioux  country.  The  next  by  nute  is  the  Big  Hioux 
ri^cr,  which  heads  with  the  St.  Peters,  and  waters  of  lake 
Winnepie,  in  some  high  wooded  country.  About  ninety 
miles  still  higher,  the  river  Jacque  falls  on  the  same  side; 
and  about  one  hundred  yards  wide.  This  river  heads  with 
the  waters  of  1-iko  Winnepio,  at  no  great  distance  east  from 
the  place,  the  head  of  the  river  Demon  in  Pelicin  lake,  be- 
tween the  Sio-.ix  rivers  and  St.  Peters.  The  country  on 
both  sides  of  the  .Missouri,  from  the  river  Platte  to  that 
pkce,  has  very  much  the  same  appearance;  extensively  fer- 
tile plains,  containing  but  little  timber  and  that  little,  princi- 
pally confined  to  the  river  bottoms  and  streams.  The  coun- 
try east  of  this  place,  and  oif.  from  the  Missouri  as  low  as 
Stone  river,  contains  a  number  of  small  streams,  many  of 
which  are  said  to  be  so  much  impregnated  with  g'lau ber  salt 
as  to  produce  all  its  effects;  certain  it  is  that  t.he  water  in  the 
small  s: reams  from  the  hill  bfl.>w  on  the  south  west  side 
possesses  this  quality. 

"A/bout  the  river  Jacque  Bruff  the  country  contains  a 
great  quantity  of  mineral,  cobalt,  cinabar,  alum,  copperas, 
and  several  other  things;  the  stone  coal  which  is  on  the  Mis- 
souri is  very  indifferent.  As. -ending  fifty- two  miles  above 
the  Jacque,  the  river  Qnicum  falls  on  the  south  west  side  cf 
this  river,  is  one  thousand  arid  twenty-six  miles  up,  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  yards  wide,  not  navigable;  it  heads  in  the 
IJlack  Hills  which  run  nearly  parallel  with  the  Missouri 
from  about  the  head  of  the  Kanzas  river,  and  ends  south 
west  of  this  place.  Cluicurn  waters  a  broken  country  one 
hundred  and  twenty-two  miles,  by  water,  higher.  White 


river  fills  in  on  the  south  west  side,  and  is  three  hundred 
yartls  wide,  and  navigable,  as  all  the  other  streams  arc, 
which  are  not  particularly  mentioned.  This  river  heads  int. 
some  small  lakes,  short  of  the  Black  Hills.  The  Mahaii  and 
Pocan  nations  rove  on  the  heads  of  this  river  and  the  Q,ui- 
cum,  and  can  raise  two  hundred  and  fifty  men;  they  ^were 
very  numerous  a  few  years  ago,  but  the  small  pox  aftd  the 
Sioux  have  reduced  them  to  their  present  state. — The  Sioux 
possess  the  south  west  side  of  the  Missouri  above  White 
river,  one  hundred  and  thirty  two  miles  higher,  and  on  the 
west  side.  Teton  river  tails  into  it;  it  is  small,  and  heads 
in  the  open  plains;  here  we  met  a  large  band  of  Sioux,  and 
the  second  which  we  had  seen,  called  Tetons;  those  are  ras- 
cals, and  may  be  justly  termed  the  pirates  of  the  Missouri. 
They  made  two  attempts  to  stop  us.  They  a^e  subdivided, 
and  stretching  on  the  river  near  to  this  place,  having  reduced 
the  Racres  and  Mandans,  and  drove  them  from  the  country  t 
they  now  occupy. 

"The  Sioux  bands  rove  in  the  country  to  the  Mississippi. 
About  forty -seven  miles  above  the  Teton  river,  the  Chaycnne 
river  falls  in  from  the  souf,h-west,  four  thousand  yards  wide; 
is  navigable  to  the  Black  Hills,  in  which  it  takes  its  rise,  in 
the  third  range.  Several  bands  of  Indians,  but  little  known, 
rove  on  the  heads  of  this  and  the  river  Platte;  and  are  stated 
to  be  as  follows;  Chosenne,  three  hundred  men;  Stsetons,  one 
hundred;  Canenaviech,  four  hundred;  Cayanwa  and  Wetaha- 
to,  t\vo  hundred;  Cahata,  seventy;  Detame,  thirty;  Meme- 
soon,  fifty;  Castahana,  one  thousand  three  hundred  men.  It 
is  probable  that  some  of  those  bands  are  the  remains  of  the 
Padoucar  nation.  At  fourteen  hundred  and  forty  miles  up 
the  Missouri,  (and  a  short  distance'above  two  handsome  rivers, 
which  take  their  rise  in  the  Black  Hills)  the  Kicaras  live  in 
three  villages,  and  are  the  remains  of  ten  different  tribes  of 
Paneas,  who  have  been  reduced  and  driven  from  their  country 
lower  down  by  the  Sioux;  their  number  is  about  five  hundred 
men;  they  raise  corn,  beans,  &c.  and  appear  friendly  and 
well  disposed.  They  were  at  war  with  the  nations  of  this 
neighborhood,  and  we  have  brought  about  peace.  Between 
the  Itccars  and  this  place,  two  rivers  fall  in  on  the  southwest 


"and  one  on  the  north-east,  not  very  long,  and  take  their  rise 
in  the  open  country.  This  country  abounds  in  a  great  var- 
iety of  wild  animals,  but  a  few  of  which  the  Indians  take; 
many  of  these  animals  are  uncommon  in  the  United  States, 
such  as  white,  red,  and  grey  bears;  Icng  eared  mules,  or 
black  tailed  deer,  (black  at  the  end  of  the  tail  only)  large 
hare,  antelope  or  Goat;  the  rsd  fox;  the  ground  pranrie  dogs, 
(who  burrow  in  the  ground)  the  braroca,  which  has  a  head 
like  a  dog,  and  the  size  of  a  small  dog;  the  white  brant,  mag- 
p'e,  calumet,,  &c.  and  many  others  are  said  to  inhabit 
the  rocky  mountains. 

"I  have  collected  the  following  accounts  of  the  rivers  and 
country  in  advance  cf  this,  to  wit:  two  day's  march,  in  ad- 
vance of  this,  the  Little  Missouri  falls  on  the  south  side,  and 
heads  at  the  northwest  extremity  of  the  Black  Hills,  six 
days'  march  further,  a  large  river  joins  the  Missouri,  afford- 
ing as  much  water  as  the  main  river;  this  river  is  rapid 
without  a  fall,  and  navigable  to  the  Rocky  Mountains,  its 
branches  head  with  the  waters  of  the  river  Platte;  the  coun- 
try in  advance  is  said  to  be  broken. 

"The  trade'  of  the  nations  at  this  place  is  from  the  north 
west,  and  Hudson's  Bay  establishments,  on  the  Assinnehoin 
river,  distant  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles;  those  traders 
are  nearly  at  open  war  with  each  other,  and  better  calcula- 
ted to  destroy  than  promote  the  happiness  of  those  nations  to 
which  they  have  latterly  extended  their  trade,  arid  intend  to 
form  an  establishment  near  this  place  in  the  course  of  this 

"Your  most 

"Obedient  servant, 



St.  Louis,  Sept.  1806. 
"Dear  Brother. , 

«  We  arrived  at  this  place  at  twelve  o'clock 
to  day,  from  the.  Pacific  Ocean,  where  we  remained  during 


the  last  winter,  near  the  entrance  of  the  Columbia  river. 
This  station  we  left  on  the  27th  of  M:irch  last,  and  should 
have  reachet!  St.  Louis  early  in  August,  had  we  not  been  de- 
tained by  the  snow,  whicli  barred  our  passage  across  the 
Hocky  Mountains  until  tl\Q  t3it1^  of  June.  In  returnii.g 
through  those  mountains,  we  divided  ourselves  into  several 
parties,  digressing  from  ihe  route  by  which  we  went  out,  in 
order  the  more  effectually  to  explore  the  coun1  ry,  and  discov- 
er the  most  practicable  route  which  does  exist  across  tho 
Continent  by  the  way  of  the  Missouri  and  Columbia  rivers: 
in  this  w.e  were  completely  .successful,  and  have  therefore  no 
hesitation  in  declaring1,  that,  such  as  nature  has  permitted, 
we  have  discovered  the  best  route  which  does  exist  across 
the  continent  <>f  North  'America  in  that  direction.  Such  is 
that  by  way  of  the  Missouri  to  the  foot  of  the  rapids,  below 
the  great  falls  of  that  river,  a  distance  of 'two  thousand  five 
hundred  and  seventy-five  miles,  thence  by  land,  passing  by 
the  Rocky  Mountains  to  a  navigable  part  of  the  Kouskouski, 
three  hundred  and  forty;  and  with  the  Kouskouski,  seventy- 
three  miles.  Lewis's  river  one  hundred  and  fifty  four  miles, 
and  the  Columbia  four  hundred  and  thirteen  miles  to  the  Pa- 
cific Ocean,  making  the  total  distance  from  the  corflaence 
of  the  Missouri  and  Mississippi  to  the  discharge  of  the  Colum- 
bia into  the  Pacific  Ocean,  three  thousand  five  hundred  and 
fifty-five  miles.  The  navigation  of  the  Missouri  may  be 
deemed  good;  its  difficulties  arise  from  its  falling  banks,  the 
timber  imbedded  in  the  mud  of  its  channel,  its  sand  bars, 
and  steady  rapidity  of  its  current,  all  which  may  be  overcome 
by  the  nocersary  precaution,  Thss. passage  by  land  of  three 
hundred  and  forty  miles,  from  the  falls  cf  the  Missouri  to  the 
KouskouskJ,  is  the  most  formidable  part  of  the  tract  propos- 
ed across  the  Continent.  Of  this,  distance,  two  hundred 
miles  is  along  a  good  road,  and  one  hundred  and  forty  miles 
over  tremendous  mountains,  which  for  sixty  miles  is  covered 
with  eternal  gnows.  A  passage  over  these-  mountains  is, 
however,  practicable  from  the  latter  part  of  June  to  the  last 
of  September,  and  the  cheap  rate  at  which  horses  are  to  be 
obtained  from  the  Indians  of  the  Kocky  Mountains,  and  west 
of  them,  reduces  the  expences  of  transportation  over  thi* 


portage  to  a  mere  trifle.  The  navigation  of  the  Kouskouski, 
Lewis's  river,  and  tlie  Columbia,  is  bale  and  good,  from  tho 
first  of  April  to  the  middle  of  August,  by  making  three  por- 
tages on  the  latter  river:  the  first  of  which,  in  descending,  is 
twelve  hundred  paces  at  the  falls  of  <  oluL.bia,  two  hundred 
and  sixty  one  miles  up  that  river;  the  second  of  two  miles,  at 
the  long  narrow,  six  miles  below  the  falls;  and  a  third, 
also  of  two  miles,  at  the  great  rapide,  sixty-five  miles  slili 
lower  down.  The  tide  flovs  up  the  Columbia  one  hundred 
and  eighty-three  miles  and  within  seven  miles  of  the  great 
rapids.  Lar^e  sloops  may  with  safety  ascend  as  high  as  the 
tide  water,  and  vessels  of  three  hundred  tons  burthen  reach 
the  entrances  of  the  Multnomih  river,  a  large  Southren 
branch  of  the  Columbia,  which  takes  its  rise  on  the  confines 
of  New  Mexico,  with  the  Collorado  and  Apostle's  rivers, 
discharging  itself  into  the  Columbia,  one  hundred  and  twen- 
ty-five mites  from  its  entrance  into  the  Pacific  Ocean.  I 
consider  this  track  across  the  Continent  of  immense  advan- 
tage to  the  fur  trade,  as  all  the  furs  collected  in  nine  tenths 
of  the  most  valuable  fur  country  in  America,  may  be  con- 
veyed to  the  mouth  of  the  Columbia,  and  shipped  from 
thence  to  the  East  Indies,  by. the  fiiht  of  August  in  each 
year;  and  will  of  course  reach  Canton  earlier  than  the  furs 
which  are  annually  exported  from  Montreal,  arrive  in  Great 

"In  our  outward  bound  passage  we  ascended  to  the  foot 
of  the  rapids  below  the  great  &lls  of  the  Missouri,  where 
we  arrived  on  the  l^th  of  June  1805.  Not  having  met 
with  any  of  the  natives  of  the  Rocky  Mountains,  we  were 
of  course  ignorant  of  the.  pasess  by  land,  which  existed 
through  those  mountains  to  the  Columbia  river:- And  had  we 
even  known  the  route,  wo  were  destitute  of  horses,  which 
would  have  been  indispensably,  necessary  to  enable  us  to 
transport  the  requisite  quantity  or'  ammunition  and  other 
stores  to  ensure  the  remaining  part  of  our  voyage  down  the 
Columbia;  we  therefore  determined  to  navigate  the  Missouri 
as  far  as  it  was  practible,  or  unless  we  met  with  some  of  the 
natives  from  whom  we  could  obtain  horses  and  information 
of  the  cauntry.  Accordingly  we  undertook  a  most  labor- 


jous  portage  at  the  falls  of  tho  Missouri,  of  eighteen  miles, 
which  we  effected  with  our  canoes  and  hag-gage  by  the  3d  of 
July.  From  hence  ascending  the  Missouri,  we  penetrated 
the  Rocky  Mountains  at  the  distance  cf  seventy-one  miles 
above  the  upper  part  of  the  portage,  and  penetrated  as  far 
as  the  three  forks  of  that  river,  a  distance  of  one  hundred 
and  eighty  miles  further.  Here  the  Missouri  divides  into 
three  nearly  equal  branches  at  the  same  point.  The  two 
largest  branches  are  so  nearly  of  the  same  dignity,  that  we 
did  not  conceive  that  either  of  them  could  with  propriety 
retain  the  name  of  the  Missouri,  and  therefore  called  these 
streams  Jefferson's,  Maaison's  and  Gallatin's  rivers.  The 
confluence  of  those  rivers  is  two  thousand  eight  hundred  and 
fifty-eight  miles  from  the  mouth  of  the  Missouri,  by  the 
meanders  of  that  river.  We  arrived  at  the  three  forks  of 
the  Missouii  on  the  27th  of  July.  Not  having  yet  been  so 
fortunate  as  to  n.eet  with  the  natives,  although  I  had  pre- 
viously made  several  excursions  for  that  purpose,  we  were 
compelled  still  to  continue  our  route  by  water. 

"The  most  northerly  of  the  three  forks,  that  to  which  we 
had  given  the  name  of  Jefferson's  river,  was  deemed  the 
most  proper  for  our  purpose,  and  we  accordingly  ascended  it 
two  hundred  and  forty-eight  miles  to  the  upper  forks,  and  its 
extreme  navigable  point;  making  the  total  distance  to  which 
we  had  navigated  the  waters  of  the  Missouri  three  thousand 
and  ninety-six  miles,  of  which  four  hundred  and  twenty- 
nine  lay  within  the  Rocky  Mountains.  On  the  morning  of 
the  17th  of  August,  1805, 1  arrived  at  the  forks  of  Jeffer- 
son's river,  where  I  met  Captain  Lewis,  who  had  previous- 
ly penetrated,  with  a  party  of  three  men,  to  the  waters  of 
the  Columbia,  discovered  a  band  of  the  Shoshone  nation,  and 
had  found  means  to  induce  thirty-five  of  their  chiefs  and 
warriors  to  accompany  him  to  that  place.  From  these  peo- 
ple we  learned  that  the  river  on  which  they  resided  was  not 
naviga!  le,  and  that  a  passage  through  the  mountains  in  that 
direction  was  impractibJe.  Being  unwilling  to  confide  in 
this  unfavorable  acccui-t  of  the  natives,  it  was  concerted  be- 
tween Captain  Lewis  and  myself',  that  one  of  us  should  go 
forward  immediately  with  a  small  party,  and  explore  tb£ 


"river;  while  the  other  in  the  interim  should  lay  up  the  canoes 
at  that  place,  and  engage  the  natives  with  their  horses  to 
assist  in  transporting  our  stores  and  baggage  to  their  camp. 
Accordingly  I  set  out  the  next  day,  passed  the  dividing 
mountains  between  the  waters  of  the  Missouri  and  Columbia, 
and  descended  the  river  which  I  call  the  East  Fork  of  Lew- 
is river,  about  seventy  m'iles.  Finding  that  the  Indian's 
account  of  the  country  in  the  direction  of  this  river,  was  cor- 
rect, I  returned  and  rejoined  Captain  Lewis  on  the  29th  of 
August,  at  the  Shoshone  camp,  excessively  fatigued,  as  you 
may  suppose;  having  passed  mountains  almost  inaccessible, 
and  compelled  to  subsist  on  berries  during  the  greater  part  of 
my  route.  We  now  purchased  twenty-seven  horses  of 
these  Indians,  and  hired  a  guide,  who  assured  us  that  he 
could  in  fifteen  days  take  us  to  a  large  river  in  an  open  coun- 
try, west  of  these  mountains,  by  a  route  some  distance  to  the 
north  of  the  river  on  which  they  lived,  and  that  by  which 
the  natives  west  of  the  mountains  visit  the  plains  of  the 
Missouri,  for  th^  purpose  of  hunting  the  buffaloe.  Every 
preparation  being  made,  we  set  forward  with  our  guide  on 
the  31st  of  August,  through  those  tremendous  mountains  in 
which  we  continued  until  the  22d  of  September,  before  we 
reached  the  lower  country  beyond  them;  on  our  way  we  met 
with  the  Olelachshoot,  a  band  of  the  Tuchapaks,  from  whom 
we  obtained  an  accession  of  seven  horses;  and  exchanged 
eight  or  ten  others.  This  proved  of  infinite  service  to  us, 
as  we  were  compelled  to  subsist  on  horse  beef  about  eight 
days  before  we  reached  the  Kouskouski. 

"During  our  passage  over  those  mountains,  we  suffered 
every  thing  which  hunger,  cold,  and  fatigue  could  impose; 
nor  did  our  difficulties,  with  respect  to  provisions,  cease  on 
our  arrival  at  the  Kouskouski;  for  although  the  Pallotepallers, 
*  numerous  nation  inhabiting  that  country,  were  extremely 
hospitable,  and  for  a  few  trifling  articles  furnished  us  with  an 
abundance  of  roots  and  dried  salmon,  the  food  to  which  they 
were  accustomed,  we  found  that  we  could  not  subsist  on  these 
articles,  and  almost  all  of  us  grew  sick  on  eating  them;  we 
were  obliged,  therefore,  to  have  recourse  to  the  flesh  of  hor- 
•e«  and  dogs,  as  food,  to  supply  the  deficiency  of  our  guns, 



which  produced  but  little  meat,  as  game  waa  scarce  in  the 
vicinity  of  our  camp  on  the  Kouskouski,  where  we  were 
compelled  to  remain,  in  order  to  construct  our  perogues,  to 
descend  the  river.  At  this  season  the  salmon  are  meagre 
lad  form  but  indifferent  food.  While  we  remained  here,  I 
was  myself  sick  for  several -days,  and  iny  friend  Captain 
Lewis  suffered  a  severe  indisposition. 

"Having  comnleted  four  perogues  and  a  small  canoe,  we 
gave  our  horses  hi  charge  to  the  Pallotepallow  until  we  re- 
turned,  and  on  the  "7th  of  October,  re-embarked  for  the  i  B.CI 
tic  Ocean.     We,  descended  by  the  route  I  have  already  men- 
tioned     The  water  of  the  river  being  low   at  this  season, 
we  experienced  much   difficulty  in  descending:  we  found  it 
obstructed  by  a  great  number  of  difficult  and  dangerous  ra- 
pids in  passing  of  which  our  perogues  several  times  tilled, 
and  the  men  escaped  narrowly  with  their  lives.     However, 
this  difficulty  does  not  exist  in  high  water  which  happens 
within  the  period  which  !  have  previously  mentioned.     We 
found  the  natives  extremely  numerous,  and  generally  friend- 
ly though  we  have  on  several  occasions  owed  our  lives  and 
the  fate  of  the  expedition  to  our  number;  which  consisted  of 
thirty- one  men.     On  the  17th  of  November  we  reached  the 
ocean  where  various  considerations  induced  us  to  spend  the 
winter;  we  therefore,  searched  for  an  eligible  situation  for 
that  purpose,  and  selected  a  spot  on  the  south  side  of  a  lit- 
tle river,  called  by  the  natives  Jve/u/,  which  discharges  itselt 
at  a  small  bar  on  the  south  side  of  the  Columbia,  and  four- 
teen miles  within  point  Adams.     Here  we  constructed  some 
log  houses-  and  defended  them  with  a  common  stockaoe  work. 
This  place  we  called  Fort  Clattop,  after  a  nation  of  that 
name  who  were  our  nearest  neighbors.     In  this  country  we 
found  an  abundance  of  Elk,  on  which  we  subsisted  principal- 
ly during  the  last  winter.     We  left  Fort  Clatsop  on  the  27th 
of  March.     On  our  homeward  bound  voyage,  being  much 
better  acquainted  with  the  country,  we  were  enabled  to  take 
such  precautions  as  in  a  great  measure  secured  us  from  the 
want  of  provisions  at  any  time,  and  greatly  lessoned  our  fa- 
tigues, when  compared  with  those  to  which  we  were  com- 
pelled to  submit  in  our  outward  bound  journey*    We  have 


not  lost  a  man  since  we  left  Mandans,  a  circumstance  which 
I  assure  you  is  a  pleasing  consideration  to  me.  As  I  shall 
shortly  be  with  you,  and  the  post  is  now  waiting  I  deem 
it  unnecessary  here  to  attempt  minutely  to  detail  the  occur- 
rences of  the  last  eighteen  months. 
44 1  am  &e. 

"Ycur  affectionate  brother, 



Indian  trertment— their  dread  of  the  Small  Pox— in  ittentio 
to  future  wants-Evil  Spirti-Marder-Indivns  restrained 
from  murder  by  being  threatened  with  the  Small  Pox— 
Friendship-Indian  Prayer-Death  of  a  comrade-Da*, 
gr  from  wild  beasts-Eacounter  with  a  Snake- Similar- 
'*«  m  the  physical  organization  of  Indians 
n—.  of  their  color— Hatred  Oj 

-  o      ea 

ems  'he  nose  andearS-JJecoratins  the 

putei-Hul,  or  Lodges-Moveable  Ho 
^ali-Food-Xode    of  cooking    ^ 

-  of  cooking 

dance  before  a,id*Jler  eating-Mode  o 
Apparent  wml  ofajfection-n^ 

This  fatal  infection,  epread  around  with  a  banefol  rapid- 
ity, wh,ch  nofllgh»  could  escape,  and  with  a  &U1  SeTSt 


nothing  could  resist.  It  destroyed,  with'  its  pestilentia; 
breath,  whole  families  and  tribes;  and  the  horrid  scence  pre- 
sentented  to  those  who  had  the  melancholy  and  effecting 
^opportunity  of  beholding  it,  a  combination  of  the  dead  and 
dying-,  and  such  as  to  avoid  the  horrid  fate  of  their  friends 
around  them,  prepared  to  disappoint  the  plague  of  its  prey, 
by  terminating  their  own  existence.  The  habits  and  lives  of 
these  devoted  people,  who  provide  not  to  day  for  the  wants 
of  to-morrow,  must  have  heightened  the  pains  of  such  an  af- 
•fliction,  by  leaving  them  not  only  without  remedy,  but  even 
without  alleviafion.  But  nothing  was  left  them,  but  to  sub- 
mit in  agony  and  despair.  To  aggrevate  the  picture,  if  ag- 
gravation was  possible,  may  be  added  the  sight  of  the  help- 
Ices  child  beholding  the  putrid  carcase  of  its  beloved  parents 
dragged  by  the  wolves  from  their  huts,  (who  were  invited  by 
the  stench)  and  with  a  ferocious  verocity,  satiate  their  hun- 
ger on  the  mangled  corpse.  Or  in  the  same  manner,  serve 
the  dog  with  food  from  the  body  of  his  once  beloved  master, 
Nor  was  it  uncommon  for  the  father  of  a  family,  whom  the 
infection  had  just  reached,  to  call  hivS  family  around  him,  to 
represent  the  Bufferings  and  cruel  fate  from  the  influence  of 
some  evil  spirit^  who  was  preparing  to  extirpate  their  race; 
and  to  invite  them  to  baffle  death,  with  all  its  horrors  with 
their  own  weapons;  and  at  the  same  time,  if  their  hearts 
failed  in  this  necessary  act,  he  was  himself  ready  to  perform 
the  deed  of  mercy  with  his  own  hand,  as  the  last  act  of  his  af- 
affection,  and  instantly  follow  them  to  the  chambers  of 
-death."*  The  Indians  being  destitute  of  physicians,  living 
on  animal  food,  plunging  themselves  into  cold  water,  on 
the  first  discovery  of  the  disease,  rendered  it  generally  mor- 

While  we  w«re  at  fortMandan,  the  Sioux  robbed  several 
of  our  party  when  they  were  returning  to  the  fort,  with  the 
fruits  of  an  excursion  after  game;  and  murdered  several  of 
the  Mandan  tribe  in  cold  blood,  without  provocation,  while 
reposing  on  the  bosom  of  friendship.  On  hearing  of  this 
massacre,  Captain  Clarke  and  the  greater  part  of  ue  voiun- 

*A  western  Traveller. 


teered  to  avenge  the  murder;  but  were  deterred  by  not  re- 
ceiving succor  from  the  Mandan  warriors;  who  declined  to 
avenge  the  outrage  committed  on  them.  The  probability 
of  their  not  enlisting,  was,  that  they  were  afraid  of  the  su- 
perior number  of  the  Sioux  to  warrant  an  engagement. 

Soon  after  this  massacre,  we  received  authentic  intelli- 
gence, that  the  Sioux  had  it  in  contemplation  (if  their  threats 
were  true)  -to  murder  us  in  the  spring;  but  were  prevented 
from  making  the  attack,  by  our  threatening  to  spread  the 
small  pox  with  all  its  horrors  among  them.  They,  knowing 
that  it  first  originated  among  the  white  people,  and  having 
heard  of  innoculation  and  the  mode  of  keeping  the  infection 
in  vials,  which  they  had  but  an  imperfect  idea  of,  that  bare- 
ly a  threat  filled  them  with  horror,  and  was  sufficient  to  de- 
ter them  from  their  resolute  and  bloody  purpose.  This  strat- 
agem may  appear  insignificant  to  the  reader,  but  was  of  the 
greatest  consequence  to  us;  for  to  it  alone  we  owe  not  only 
the  fate  of  the  expedition,  but  our  lives. 

Most  of  the  tribes  of  Indians  that  we  became  acquainted 
with  (except  the  Sioux)  after  being  introduced  by  our  inter- 
preter, and  finding  that  our  intentions  were  friendly  towards 
them,  never  failed  of  greeting  us  with  many  tokens  of  their 
friendly  disposition.  Soon  after  our  interview,  we  were  in- 
vited t,o  smoke  the  calumet  of  peace,  and  to  partake  freely  of 
their  venison.  The  women  and  children  in  particular,  wer,e 
not  wanting  in  showing  tokens  of  friendship,  by  endeavoring 
to  make  our  stay  agreeable.  On  our  first  meeting,  they 
generally  held  a  council  as  they  term  it,  when  their  chief  de- 
livers a  "talk,"  in  which  they  give  their  sentiments  respect- 
ing their  new  visitors;  which  were  filled  with  professions  of 
frsindship,  and  often  were  very  eloquent,  and  abounded  with 
sublime  and  figurative  language. 

When  we  departed,  after  taking  leave,  they  would  often 
put  up  a  prayer,  of  which  the  following  is  a  sample,  which 
was  put  up  for  us  by  a  Mandtui:  "That  the  great  spirit  wouM  i 
favor  us  with  smooth  water,  with  a  clear  sky  by  day,  and  a 
bright  star-light  by  night;  that  we  might  not  be  presented 
with  the  red  hatchet  of  war;  but,  that  the  great  pipe  of  peace 
might  ever  shine  upon  us,  as  the  sun  shines  in  an  unclouded 


day,  and  that  we  might  be  overshadowed  by  the  smoke  there- 
of;  that  w©  might  have  sound  sleep,  and  that  the  bird  of  peace 
might  whisper  in  our  ears  pleasant  dreams;  that  the  deer 
might  be  taken  by  us  in  plenty;  and  that  the  great  spirit 
would  take  us  homo  in  safety  to  our  squaws  and  children.'* 
These  prayers  were  generally  made  with  great  fervency, 
often  smiting  with  great  vehemence,  their  hands  upon  their 
breast,  their  eyes  fixed  in  adoration  towards  heaven.  In 
this  manner  they  would  continue  their  prayers  until  we  were 
out  of  sight. 

In  the  fore  part  of  autumn  we  experienced  Blight  typhus 
indispositions,  caused  by  great  vicissitudes  of  weather, 
which  at  times  were  very  damp. 

Our  affectiorate  companion  serjeant  Floyd  was  seized 
V7ith  a  severe  astenic  disease,  of  which  ho  fell  a  victim.  He 
was  seized  with  an  acute  pain  in  his  intestines,  accompan- 
ied with  a  great  suppression  of  the  pulmonary  function.  Eve- 
ry'effort  that  our  eituaticn  allowed,  was  in  vaii  used  for  his 
recovery;  we  buried  him  in  the  most  decent  manner  that  our 
circumstance  would  admit.  He  was  universally  lamented  by 

Several  times,  many  of  our  party  were  in  imrnifient  dan- 
ger of  being  devoured  by  wild  beasts  of  prey;  but  happily- we 
•escaped.  .Frequently  we  were  annoyed  by  a  kind  of  light 
colored  bear,  of  which  the  country  near  the  head  of  the  Mis- 
souri, abounds.  After  being  attacked,  they  give  no  quarter, 
..but  rush  with  great  fury  towards  their  enemy.  One  of  our 
party  shot  at  one  of  them,  and  wounded  him,  the  bear  in- 
stead of  being  intimidated  by  the  smart  of  the  wound,  was 
stimulated  into  rage,  and  rushed  with  great  fury  to  devour 
the  assailant,  who  savpd  his  life  by  running  headlong  down 
a  steep  precipice,  that  formed  the  bank  of  the  river;  but  was 
severely  bruised  by  the  precipitant  retreat. 

The  following  narrative  of  an  encounter  with  a  Snake  it 
told  by  a  companion,  whose  veracity  can  be  relied  on.  I 
will  give  it  in  his  own  words,  as  he  related  it  in  a  letter  to 
his  friend, 

'•Some  time,"  says  he  "before  we  reached  Fort  Manda&, 


while  I  was  out  on  an  excursion  of  hunting,  one  of  the  great 
cst  monsters  that  ever  shocked  the  mind  with  horror  was  pre- 
sented to  my  sight.  When  passing  deliberately  in  a  forast 
that  bordered  on  a  prairie,  I  heard  a  rustling  in  the  bushes; 
I  leaped  towards  the  object,  delighted  with  the  prospect  of 
acquiring  game.  But  on  proceeding  a  few  paces  further, 
my  blood  was  chilled  with  horror,  by  the  appearance  of  a 
serpent  of  an  enormous  size.  On  discovering  me,  he  imme- 
diately erected  his  head  to  a  great  height;  his  color  was  of  a 
yellower  hue  than  the  spots  of  a  rattle  snake;  and  on  the  top 
of  his  back  were  spots  of  a  redish  color.  His  eyes  emitted 
5re,  his  tongue  darted,  as  though  he  menaced  my  destruc- 
tion. He  was  evidently  in  the  attitude  of  springing  at  me, 
when  I  levelled  my  riflle  at  him;  but  probably  owing  to  my 
consternation,  I  only  wounded  him;  but  the  explosion  of  the 
gun  and  the  wound  turned  to  flight  the  awful  enemy.  Per- 
haps you  may  think,  that  my  fright  has  magnified  the  de- 
scription. I  can  candidly  aver,  that  he  was  in  bulk  half  as 
large  as  a  middle-sized  man." 

In  the  Indian  tribes  there  is  so  great  a  similarity  in  their 
stature,  color,  government,  and  religious  tenets,  that  it  will 
bo  requisite,  for  sperspicuity,  to  rank  them  under  one  gen- 
eral head.  And;  when  there  is  a  contrast  in  course  of  the 
description,  it  will  be  mentioned. 

The  Indians  are  all  (except  the  Snake  Indians)  tall  in  sta- 
ture, straight  and  robust.  It  is  very  seldom  they  are  deform- 
ed, which  has  .given  rise  to  the  supposition,  that  they  put  to 
death  their  deformed  children,  which  is  not  the  case.  Their 
skin  is  of  a  copper  color,  their  eyes  large,  black,  and  of  a 
bright  and  sparkling  color,  indicative  of  a  subtle  and  discern- 
ing mind.  Their  hair  is  of  the  same  color,  and  prone  to 
grow  long,  straight,  and  seldom  or  never  curled;  their  teeth 
are  large  and  white.  I  never  observed  any  decayed  among 
them,  which  makes  their  breath  as  sweet  as  the  air  they 
exale.  The  women  are  about  the  stature  of  the  English-. 
women,  and  much  inclined,  to  corpulency,  which  is  seldom 
the  case  with  the  other  se.#. 

I  shall  not  enter  into  9.,  discussion  2/jbout  the  cause  of  their 


hue.  1  shall  barely  mention  the  suppositions  that  are  made 
respecting  it.  Some  have  asserted,  that  it  is  derived  prin- 
cipally from  their  annointing  themselves  with  fat  in  the 
summer  season,  to  prevent  profuse  perspiration,  and  this, 
combined  with  the  influence  of  the  sun,  has  given  the  tinc- 
ture of  their  complexion.  To  support  the  hypothesis  they 
assert,  that  the  repeated  above  mentioned  causes  give  color 
to  the  parent,  who  procreates  his  own  likeness,  until  at 
length  it  is  entailed  on  posterity.  But  notwithstanding  this 
curious  reasoning,  others  are  of  opinion,  that  the  hand  of 
tho  Creator  gave  the  reddish  hue  to  the  Indians,  the  sable 
color  to  the  African,  and  that  of  white  to  the  civilized  na- 

They  esteem  a  beard  exceedingly  unbecoming,  and  take 
great  pains  to  get  rid  of  it;  nor  is  there  ever  any  to  be  per- 
ceived on  their  faces,  except  when  they  grow  old  and  .become 
inattentive  to  their  appearance.  Every  crinose  exerescense 
on  other  parts  of  their  body  is  held  in  as  great  abhorrence  by 
them,  and  both  sexes  are  equally  careful  to  extirpate  it,  in 
which  they  often  employ  much  tim'e. 

The  PalJotepaUors,  Serpentine,  Mandan,  and  other  interi- 
or tribes  of  Indians,  pluck  them,  out  with  bent  pieces  of  hard 
wood,  formed  into  a  kind  of  nippers,  made  for  that  purpose; 
while  those  that  have  a  communication  with  Americans  or 
Europeans,  procure  from  them  wire,  which  they  ingeniously 
make  into  an  instrument  resembling  a  screw,  which  will  take 
so  firm  a  hold  of  the  beard,  that  with  a  sudden  twitch  they 
extirpate  them  out  by  the  roots,  when  considerable  blood  ne- 
ver fails  to  flow. 

The  dress  of  the  Indians,  varies  according  to  the  tribe  that 
they  belong  to;  but  in  general,  it  is  very  commodious,  not  to 
encumber  them  in  pursuing  the  chase,  or  their  enemy;  those 
that  inhabit  the  Missouri,  I  have  often  seen,  in  cold  weath- 
er, without  any  apparel  to  screen  themselves  from  the  incle- 
mency of  the  weather.  The  lower  rank  of  the  Pallotepal- 
lors  and  Clatsops,  wear  nothing  in  the  summer  season,  but  a 
smell  garment  about  their  hips,  which  is  either  manufactur- 
ed out  of  bark  or  skins,  and  which  wrould  vie  with,  if  not  ex- 
«el,  any  European  manufacture,  being  diversified  with  dif- 


ferent  colours,  which  gave  it  a  gray  appearance.  Their 
Chiefs  are  generally  dres&ed  in  robes  that  are  made  out  of 
email  skins,  (which  takes  several  hundred  for  a  garment,)  of 
different  colors,  neatly  tanned,  which  they  loosely  over 
their  shoulders. 

In  deep  snows  they  wear  skins,  which  entirely  cover  their 
legs  and  feet,  and  almost  answer  for  breeches:  being  held  up 
by  strings  tied  to  the  lower  part  of  the  waist.  Their  bodies 
in  the  winter  season,  are  covered  with  different  kinds  of  skin, 
which  are  tanned  with  the  fur  on,  which  they  wear  next  to 
the  skin.  Those  of  the  men,  who  wish  to  appear  more  gay 
than  others,  pluck  out  the  greatest  part  of  their  hair,  leav- 
ing only  small  locks  as  fancy  dictates,  on  which  are  hung 
different -kinds  of  quills,  and  feathers  of  elegant  plumage  su- 
perbly painted.  The  Sioux  and  Usages,  who  traffic  with. the 
Americans,  wear  some  of  our  apparel,  such  as  shirts  and 
blankets;  the  former  they  cannot  bear  tied  at  the  wristbands 
and  collar,  and  the  latter  they  throw  loosely  over  their  shoul- 
ders. Their  chiefs  dress  very  g;\v;  about  their  heads  thpy 
wear  all  kinds  of  ornaments  that  fan  well  be  bestowed  upon 
them,  which  are  curiously  wrought,  and  in  the  winter  lung 
robes  of  the  richest  fur  that  tsail  on  the  ground. 

In  the  summer  there  is  no  great  peculiarity,  only  what  the 
higher  rank  wear  is  excessively  ornamented. 

The  Indians  paint  their  heads  and  faces  yellow,  green,  red 
and  black;  which  they  esioem  very  ornamental.  They  also 
paint  themselves  when  they  go  to  war;  but  the  method  they 
make  use  of  on  this  occasion  di tiers  from  that  which  they 
wear  merely  as  a  decoration. 

The  Chipaway  young  men,  who  are  emulous  of  excelling 
their  companions  in  fineny,  slit  the  outward  rim  of  both  ears; 
at  the  same  time  they  t^ke  care  not  to  separate  them  entire- 
ly, but  leave  the  flesh  thus  cut,  still  untouched  at  both  ex- 
tremities; around  this  spungy  substance,  from  the  upper  to 
the  lower  part,  they  twist  brass  wire  till  the  weight  draws 
the  amputated  rim  in  a  bow  of  five  or  six  inches  diameter 
and  draws  it  down  almost  to  the  shoulder.  This  decoration' 
is  esteemed  gay  and  becoming. 

It  Is  also  a  custom  among  them  to  bore  their  noses,  and 


wear  in  them  pendants  of  different  sorts.     Shells  are  often 
wore,  which  when  painted  are  reckoned  very  ornamental. 

The  dress  of  the  Indians  who  inhabit  the  borders  of  Lou- 
isiana is  for  their  legs,  a  kind  of  stocking,  cither  of  skins  or 
cloth;  these  are  sewed  up  as  much  as  possible  in  the  shrpe 
of  their  leg-,  so  as  to  admit  of  being  drawn  on  and  off;  the 
edges  of  tne  stuff  on  which  they  are  composed  are  left  an- 
nexed to  the  seams,  and  hang  loose  about  the  breadth  of  a 
hand;  and  this  part  which  is  placed  on  the  outside  of  the  leg, 
is  generally  ornamented  with  lace  and  ribbons,  find  often  with 
embroidery  and  porcupine  quills  variously  colored.  The  hun- 
ters from  Louisiana  find  these  stockings  much  more  conve- 
nient than  any  others.  Their  shoes  are  made  of  the  skins 
of  deer  or  elk;  these  after  being  dressed  with  the  hair  on, 
are  cut  into  shoes,  and  faishioned  so  as  to  be  easy  to  their 
feet  and  convenient  for  walking.  The  edges  around  the  an- 
kle are  decorated  with  pieces  of  bra^s  or  tin,  fixed  around  a 
leather  string  about  an  inch  long,  which  being  placed  very 
thick,  make  a  delightsome  noise  when  they  walk  or  dance. 

The  dress  of  the  women  in  the  summer  season  consists 
only  of  a  petticoat  that  does  not  reach  down  to  their  knees. 
In  the  winter  they  wear  a  shift,  rnaJe  of  skins  which  an- 
swers a  very  good  purpose  when  they  stand  erect,  as  it  is 
sufficiently  low.  but  when  they  bend  over  they  often  put  mod- 
esty to  the  blush.  .Their  feet  and  legs  are  covered  similarly 
to  the  other  sex. 

Most  of  the  female  Indians  who  dwell  on  the  west  side  of 
the  Mississippi,  near  its  confluence  with  the  Missouri,  deco- 
rate their  heads  by  enclosing  their  hair  in  plates  of  silver;  it 
is  a  costly  ornament  and  is  made  use  of  by  the  highest  rank 
only.  Those  of  the  lower  rank  make  use  ef  the  bones,  which 
they  manufacture  to  resemble  that  of  silver.  The  silver 
made  use  of,  is  formed  into  thin  plates  of  about  four  cr  five 
inches  broad,  in  several  of  which  they  confine  their  hair. — 
That  plate  which  is  nearest  the  head  is  of  considerable  width; 
the  next  narrower,  and  made  so  as  to  pass  a  little  way  under 
the  other,  and  gradually  tapering  till  they  get  to  a  very  iri- 
.  considerable  magnitude/ 

.This  proves  to  be  of  great  expense,  for  they  often  wear  it 


on  the  back  side  of  the  head,  extending  to  the  full  length  of 
their  hair,  which  is  commonly  very  long. 

The  women  of  every  nation  generally  paint  a  spot  against 
each  about  the  size  of  a  crown  piece,  some  of  them  paint 
their  hair,  and  sometimes  a  Bpot  on  the  middle  of  the  fore- 

The  Indians  have  no  fixed  habitations  when  they  are  hun- 
ting; but  build  their  houses  where  conveniency  presents; 
which  are  made  so  small,  that  it  oblges  the  inhobitants  to 
grope  about  in  them,  being  so  low  as  not  to  admit  one  to 
stand  erect,  and  are  without  windows.  Those  that  are  built 
for  a  permanent  residence  are  mnch  more  substantial;  they 
are  built  of  logs  and  bark,  large  enough  to  contain  several 
apartments.  Those  built  for  the  chiefs  are  often  very  ele- 
gant. That  of  the  chief  warrior  of  the  Mahas,  is  at  least 
sixty  feet  in  circumference,  and  lined  with  furs,  and  painting. 
The  furs  are  of  various  colors,  many  of  whifeh  I  had  never 
seen  before,  and  were  extremely  beautiful;^ the  variety  in 
color  formed  a  contrast  that  much  added  to  its  elegance. — * 
The  paintings  were  elegant,  and  would  adorn  the  dwellings 
of  an  opulent  European  Prince.  But  the  houses  of  the  com- 
mon people  are  very  different. 

They  have  also  moveable  houses,  which  they  use' for  fish* 
ing,  and  sometimes  for  hunting;  which  are  made  of  deer 
skins,  or  birch  bark  sewed  together,  whidh  they  cover  over 
poles  made  for  that  purpose;  they  are  bent  over  to  form  a 
semicircle,  which  resemble  those  bent  by  the  Americans  for 
beans  or  hops  to  grow  on,  and  are  covered  over  as  before 
mentioned,  which  are  very  ligt  and  easily  transported  where 
necessity  requires. 

The  best  of  their  cabins  have  no  chimneys,  but  a  small 
hole  to  let  the  smoke  through,  which  they  are  compelled  to 
§top  up  in  stormy  weather;  arid  when  it  is  too  cold  to  put 
out  their  fire,  their  huts  are  filled  with  clouds  of  smoke, 
which  render  them  insupportable  to  any  but  an  Indian. 

The  common  people  lie  on  bear  gkins,  which  are  spread  on 
the  floor.  Their  chiefs  bleep  on  beaver  skins,  which  art 
•sometimes  elevated. 

Their  utensils  are  few,  •    lin  point  of  usefulnesi  rerjr  dt^ 


fective;  those  to  hold  water  in,  are  made  of  the  skins  of  ani-* 
mals  and  the  knotty  excrescences  of  hard  wood;  their  spoons 
arc  manufactured  out  of  wood,  or  tho  bones  of  a  buffalo,  and 
are  tolerably  commodious,  and  I  have  often  seen  them  ele- 
gant, and  sometimes  painted. 

The  Flatheada  and  Clatsops  make  baskets  out  of  rushes, 
that  will  hold  water  if  they  are  not  very  dry.  These  two 
nations  appear  to  have  more  of  a  mechanical  genius,  than 
any  other  people  that  I  have  ever  been  acquainted  with.  And 
I  think  they  are  not  rivalled  by  any  nation  on  earth,  when 
taking  into  consideration  their  very  limited  mechanical  in- 

Many  of  the  Indian  nations  make  no  use  of  bread,  salt, 
and  spices;  and  many  live  to  be  old  without  seeing  or  tasting 
of  either.  Those  that  live  near  the  snowy  mountains,  live 
in  a  great  measure  on  berries,  which  clothe  the  fields  iu 
great  abundance. 

The  Taukies  and  other  Eastern  tribes,  where  Indian  corn 
grows,  take  green  corn  and  beans,  boil  them  together  with 
bear's  flesh,  the  fat  of  which  gives  flavor  and  renders  it 
beyond  comparison  delicious;  they  call  this  dish  fe'ucca- 

In  gensral  they  have  no  idea  of  the  use  of  milk,  although 
great  quantities  might  be  collected  from  buffalo  and  elk. 
They  only  consider  it  proper  for  the  nourishment  of  tho 
young  of  these  beasts,  in  their  tender  state.  It  cannot  be 
perceived  that  any  inconvenience  arises  .from  the  disuse  of 
articles  so  much  esteemed  by  civilized  nations,  which  they 
use  to  give  a  relish  and  flavor  to  their  food.  But  on  the  con- 
trary, the  great  healthiness  of  the  Indians,  and  the  unhealth- 
iness  of  the  sons  of  Epicurus,  prove,  that  the  diet  of  the 
former  is  the  most  salutary. 

They   preserve  their   meat   by  exposing  it  to   the  sun 
iq  the  summer,  and  in  the  winter  by  putting  it  between  . 
cakes  of  ice,  which  keep  it  sweet,  and  free  from  any  putre- 
factive quality. 

Their  food  consists  in  a  great  measure  of  the  flesh  of  the 
b«ar,  buffalo,  and  deer.  Those  that  reside  near  the  head  of 
the  Missouri,,  and  Columbia  rivers,  chiefly  make  use  of  the 


buffalo  and  elk,  which  arc  often  seen  from  fifty  to  an  hun- 
dred in  a  drove.  When  there  are  plenty  of  the  two  last 
mentioned  beasts  there  are  but  a  few  of  the  former,  and 
where  there  are  many  of  the  former,  but  few  of  the  latter. 

The  mode  of  roasting  their  meat,  is  by  burning  it  under 
ground  on  the  side  of  a  hill,  placing  stones  next  to  the  meat; 
the  mode  of  building  to  heat  ii,  somewhat  resembles  the  fire 
made  under  a  lime-kiln.  In  this  manner  they  roast  the  lar- 
gest of  their  animals. 

The  mode  of  cooking  smaller  pieces,  is  to  roast  it  in  stones, 
that  are  hewn  out  for  the  purpose. 

The  Flatheads  and  Clatsops  procure  a  root  about  the  size 
of  a  potatoe,  which  grows  spontaneously  and  in  great  abun- 
dance, and  is  tolerably  palatable,  and  perfectly  agrees  with 
the  natives;  but  made  us  all  sick,  while  we  were  among 
them.  Before  we  descended  the  Co'urnbia  river,  we  were 
unable  to  procure  game,  and  had  recourse  to  the  flesh  of  dogs 
arid  horses  to  preserve  life,  as  those  roots  would,  without 
doubt,  have  destroyed  us,  and  we  were  unable  to  procure 
any  other  kind  of  food. 

Many  of  the  tribes  of  Indians  are  extremely  dirty.  I 
have  seen  the  Maha  Indians  bring  water  in  the  paunches  of 
animals  that  were  very  dirty,  and  in  other  things  equally  so. 
But  the  Maha  chiefs  are  very  neat  and  cleanly  in  their  tents, 
apparal>and  food. 

The  Indians  commonly  eat  in  large  parties,  so  that  their 
meals  may,  with  propriety,  be  termed  feasts;  they  have 
not  set  hours  for  their  meals,  but  obey  the  dictates  of  na- 

Many  of  the  tribes  dance  before  or  after  their  meals,  in 
devotion  to  the  Great  Spirit,  for  the  blessings  they  receive. 
Being  informed  of  the  mode  of  our  say  ing  grace,  they  an- 
swered that  they  thought  we  were  stupid  and  ungrateful  not 
to  exercise  our  bodies  for  the  great  benefits  that  we  received: 
but  muttering  with  our  lips,  they  tnought  was  an  unaccepta- 
ble sacrifice  to  the  Great  Spirit,  arid  the  stupid  mode  of  the 
coreinony  ridiculous  in  the  extreme.  In  their  feasts,  the 
men  and  women  eat  apart;  but  in  their  domestic  way  of  liv- 
ing, they  promiscuously,  eat  together* 


Instead  of  getting  together  and  drinking  as  the  Americans 
do,  they  make  use  of  feasting  as  a  substi'tue.  . 

When  their  chiefs  are  assembled  together-,  on  any  occas- 
ion, they  always  conclude  with  a  feast,  at  which  their  hilari- 
ty and  cheerfulness  know  no  hounds. 

No  people  on  earth  are  more  hospitable,  kind,  and  free, 
than  the  Indians.  They  will  readily  share  with  any  of  their 
own  tribe  the  last  part  of  their  provisions,  and  even  those  of 
a  different  nation.  Though  they  do  not  keep  one  common 
stock,  yet  the  community  of  goods  is  so  prevalent  among 
them,  and  their  generous  dispositions  render  it  nearly  of  the 
same  effect. 

They  strike  fire  by  rubbing  together  two  sticks  of  wood, 
of  a  particular  kind,  which  they  procur  e  with  ease;  from  oth- 
er kinda  it  is  impossible  to  procure  fire. 

They  are  extremely  circumspect  and  deliberate  in  every 
word  and  action;  there  is  nothing  that  hurries  them  into 
any  intemperate  wrath,  but  that  inveteracy  of  their  enemies, 
which  is  rooted  in  every  Indian's  breast,  and  never  can  be 
eradicated.  In  all  other  instances  they  are  cool,  and  delib- 
erate, taking  care  to  suppress  the  emotions  of  the  heart.  If 
any  Indian  has  discovered  that  a  friend  of  his  is  in  danger 
of  being  cut  off  by  a  lurking  enemy,  he  does  not  inform  him 
of  his  danger  in  direct  terms,  as  though  he  was  in  fear,  but 
he  first  cooly  asks  him  which  way  he  is  going  that  day;  and 
having  his  answer;  with  the  same  indifference  tells  him, 
that  he  has  been  informed,  that  an  obnoxious  beast  lies  on 
the  route  where  he  is  going,  which  might  probably  do  him 
mischief.  This  hint  proves  sufficient;  and  his  friend  avoids 
the  danger  with  as  much  caution,  as  though  every  design 
and  motion  of  his  enemy  had  been  pointed  out  to  him. 

This  apathy  often  shows  itself,  on  occasions  that  would 
draw  forth  the  fervor  of  a  susceptible  heart.  If  an  Indian 
hud  been  absent  from  his  family  for  several  months,  either  on 
a  war  or  hunting  party,  and  his  wife  and  children  meet  him 
at  some  distance  from  his  habitation,  instead  of  the  affection- 
ate sensations  that  naturally  arise  in  the  breast  of  more  re- 
fined beings,  and  are  productive  of  mutual  congratulations^ 
lit  -continues  bis  course  without  looking  to  the  right  or  left; 


without  paying  the  least  attention  to  those  around  him,  till 
he  arrives  at  his  house:  He  there  sits  down,  and  with  the 
same  unconcern  as  if  ho  had  not  been  absent  a  day,  smokes 
his  pipe;  those  of  his  friends  who  followed  him,  do  the  same; 
perhaps  it  is  several  hours  before  he  relaies  to  them  the  in- 
cidents that  have  b. fallen  him  during  the  abscence,  though 
perhaps  ho  has  left  a  father,  a  brother,  or  a  son  dead  on  the 
field,  (whose  loss  he  ought  to  have  lamented)  or  has  been 
successful  in  the  undertaking  that  called  him  from  home. 

If  an  Indian  has  been  engaged  for  several  days  in  the 
chase  or  any  other  laborious  expedition,  ant?  by  accident 
continued  long  without  food,  when  he  arrives  at  the  hut  of  a 
friend,  where  he  knows  that  his  wants  will  be  immediately 
supplied,  he  takes  cure  not  to  show  the  least  symptoms  of 
impatience,  or  betray  the  extreme  hunger  that  he  is  tortured 
with;  but  on  being  invited  in,  sits  contentedly  down,  and 
smokes  his  pipe  with  as  much  composure  as  if  Jiis  appetite 
was  cloyed,  and  he  was  .perfectly  at  ease:  he  does  the  same 
if  among  strangers.  This  custom  is  strictly  adhered  to  by 
every  tribe,  and  they  esteem  it  a  proof  of  fortitude,  and 
think  the  reverse  wo^d  entitle  them  to  the  appellation  of  old 

If  you  tell  an  Indian,  that  his  children  have  greatly  sig- 
nalized themselves  against  an  enemy,  have  taken  many 
ecalps,  and  brought  home  many  prisoners,  he  does  not  ap* 
pear  to  feel  any  great  emotions  of  pleasure  on  the  occasion; 
his  answer  generally  is,  "they  have  done  well,"  and  makes 
hut  very  little  inquiry  about  it;  on  the  contrary,  if  you  in- 
form him  that  his  children  are  glain  or  taken  prisoners; 
he  makes  no  complaints,  he  only  replies,  "it  is  unfortun- 
ate," and  for  some  time  asks  no  questions  about  how  it  hap- 

This  seeming  indifference,  however,  does  not  proceed 
from  a  want  of  the  natural  affections,  for,  notwithstanding 
they  are  esteemed  savages,  I  iiovor  s,uv  among  any  other 
people  greater  proofs  of  filial  tnmteni •?•£••;  and,  although  they 
meet  their  wives  after  a  long  aba  ?nbo  '.vali  tiio  stoical  indiffer- 
ence  just  mentioned,  they  are  uot  jii  ^ucval,  void  of  congu* 
gal  affection. 



Another  peculiarity  is  observable  in  their  manner  of  pay- 
ing visits.  If  an  Indian  goes  to  visit  a  particular  person  in 
a  family,  he  mentions  to  whom  his  visit  is  intended,  and  the 
rest  of  the  family  immediately  retire  to  the  other  end  of  the 
hut  or  tent,  and  are  care:ul  not  to  come  near  enough  to  in- 
terrupt them  during  the  whole  conversation.  rJ  he  came 
method  is  pureucd  when  a  youi;g  man  goes  to  pay  his  ad- 
dresses to  a  young  woman;  Lut  then  he  must  be  careful  not 
to  let  love  be  the  subject  of  his  discourse  while  the  day  light 

They  discover  an  amazing  sagacity,  and  acquire  with  the 
greatest  readiness,  any  thing  that  depends  upon  the  atten- 
t'on  of  the  mind.  By  experience,  and  an  acute  observation, 
they  attain  many  perfections,  to  which  the  Americans  are 
strangers.  For  instance,  they  will  cross  a  forest,  or  a  plain, 
which  is  two  hundred  miles  in  breadth,  ar.d  reach  with 
great  exactness  the  point  at  which  they  intend  to  arrive, 
keeping  during  the  whole  of  thai  space  in  a  direct  line,  with- 
out any  material  deviations;  and  this  they  will  do  with  the 
same  ease,  let  the  weather  be  fair  or  cloudy. 

With  equal  acuteness  they  will  point  to  that  part  of  the 
heavens,  the  sun  is  in,  though  it  be  intercepted  by  clouds  or 
fogs;  besides  this  they  are  able  to  pursue  with  incredible  fa- 
cility the  traces  of  man  or  beast,  either  on  leaves  or  grass.; 
and  on  this  account  it  is  with  great  difficulty  that  a  flying 
enemy  escapes  discovery. 

They  are  indebted  fur  these  talents  not  only  to  nature,  but 
to  an  extraordinary  command  of  the  intellectual  faculties, 
which  can  only  be  acquiied  by  an  unremitted  attention,  and 
by  long  experience. 

They  are  in  general  very  happy  in  a  retentive  memory: 
they  can  recapitulate  every  particular  that  has  been  treated 
of  in  councils,  and  remember  the  exact  time  when  they  were 
held.  Their  belts  of  wampum  preserve  the  substance  of 
the  treaties  they  have  concluded  with  the  neighboring  tribes; 
for  ages  back,  to  which  they  will  appeal,  and  refer  with  as 
much  perspicuity,  and  readiness,  as  Europeans  can  to  their 
written  records. 

Every  nation  pays  great  respect  to  old  age.    The  advice 


of  a  father  will  never  receive  any  extraordinary  attention 
from  the  young  Indians;  probably  they  receive  it  with  only 
a  bare  assent;  but  they  will  tremble  before  a  grandfather, 
and  submit  to  his  injunctions  with  the  utmost  alacrity.  The 
words  of  the  ancient  part  of  the  community  are  esteemed 
by  the  young  as  orr.cles.  If  they  take  during  hunting  par- 
ties, any  game  that  is  reckoned,  by  them  uncommonly  deli- 
cious, it  ia  immediately  presented  to  tke  eldest  of  their  rela- 

They  never  suffer  themselves  to  be  overburthened  with 
care;  but  live  in  a  state  of  perfect  tranquility  and  content- 
ment, being  naturally  indolent.  If  provisions,  just  sufficient 
for  the ii*  subsistence,  can  ^be  procured  with  little  trouble,  and 
near  a:  ban  j,  they  will  not  go  far,  or  take  any  extraordinary 
pains  for  itt  though  by  so  doing  they  might  acquire  greater 
plenty  and  of  a  more  estimable  kind. 

Having  much  leisure  time  they  indulge  this  indolence  to 
which  they  are  prone,  by  sleeping  or  rambling  about  among 
their  tents.  But  when  necessity  obliges  them  to  take  the 
field,  either  to  oppose  an  enemy;  or  to  procure  themselree 
food,  they  are  alert  and  indefatigable.  Many  instances  of 
their  activity,  on  these  occasions,  will  be  given  when  we 
treat  of  their  wars. 

The  greatest  blemish  in  their  character,  ig  that  eavage 
disposition,  which  impels  them  to  treat  their  enemies  with  a 
severity,  that  every  other  nation  ehudders  at;  but  if  they  are 
th  IB  barbarous  to  those  with  whom  they  are  at  war,  they  are 
friendly,  hospitable  and  humane  in  peace.  It  may  with 
truth  be  siid  of  them,  that  they  are  the  worst  enemies,  and 
the  best  friends  of  any  peopte  ia  the  world. 

They  are,  in  genera),  strangers  to  the  passion  of  jealousy, 
and  brand  a  man  with  folly  that  is  distrustful  of  his  wife. 
Among  some  tribes  the  very  idea  is  not  known;  ae  the  most 
abandoned  of  their  young  men  very  rarely  attempt  the  vif- 
tue  of  married  women,  nor  do  these  put  themselves  in  the 
wiy  of  BO  icitation^;  yet,  the  Indian  women  in  general, 
are  of  an  amorou?  disposition;  and  before  they  are  married 


are  not  the  lees  esteemed  for  the  indulgence  of  their  pas- 

The  Indians,  in  their  common  state,  arc  strangers  to  all 
distinction  of  property,  except  in  the  articles  of  domestic 
use,  which  every  one  considers  as  his  own,  and  increase  as 
circumstances  admit.  They  are  extremely  liberal  to  each 
other  and  eupplv  the  deficiency  of  their  friends  with  any  su- 
perfluity of  tl.eir  own. 

In  dangers  tiiey  readily  give  assistance  to  any  of  their 
band  that  btand  in  need  of  it,  without  any  expectation  of  re- 
turn, except  those  just  rewards  that  are  always  confered  by 
the  Indians  on  merit*  Governed  by  the  plain  and  equitable 
laws  of  nature,  every  one  is  rewarded  according  to  his  de- 
serts; and  their  equality  of  condition,  manners,  and  privili- 
ges,  with  that  constant  and  social  familiarity  which  prevails 
through  every  Indian  nation,  animates  them  with  a  pure  and 
patriotic  spirit,  that  tends  to  the  general  good  of  the  society 
to  which  they  belong. 

If  any  of  their  neighbours  are  bereaved  by  death,  or  by 
an  enemy,  of  their  children,  those  who  are  possessed  of  the 
greatest  number  of  prisoners,  who  are  made  slaves,  supply 
the  deficiency:  and  these  are  adopted  by  them  and  treated 
in  every  respect  as  if  they  really  were  the  children  of  the 
person  to  whom  they  are  presented. 

The  Indians  can  form  to  themselves  no  idea  of  the  value 
of  money;  they  consider  it,  when  they  are  made  acquainted 
with  the  uses  to  which  it  is  applied,  by  other  nations,  as  the 
source  of  innumerable  evils.  To  it  they  attribute  all  the 
mischiefs  that  .are  prevalent  among  Europeans,  such  as 
treachery,  plundering,  devastation,  and  murcier. 

They  esteem  it  irrational,  that  one  man  should  be  poss- 
essed of  a  greater  quantity  than  another,  and  are  amazed 
that  any  honour  should  be  annexed  to  the  possession  of  it. 

But  that  the  want  of  this  useless  metal  should  be  the 
cause  of  depriving  persons  of  their  liberty,  and  that  on  ac- 
count of  this  j>iirUvular  distribution  of  it,  great  numbers 
should  be  si-nit  u:>  u  J.m  the  dreary  walls. of  a  prison,  cut  off 
from  60'cittfyuf  vv'uiuh  i':.oy  constitute  a  part,  exceeds  their 
lelici;  Lor  Co  tlioy  lad,  on  hearing  this  part  of  the  United!' 


States  system  of  government  related,  to  charge  the  i net i tu- 
tors of  it  with  a  total  want  of  humanity,  and  to  brand  them 
with  the  names  of  savages,  brutes. 

They  show  almost  an  equal  degree  of  indifference  for  th& 
productions  of  art.  When  any  of  these  are  eliown  them, 
they  say,  "It  is  pretty,  I  like  to  look  at  it/'  and  are  not 
inquisitive  about  the  construction  of  it,  neither  can  thej 
form  proper  conceptions  of  its  use.  But  if  you  tell  them  a 
person  runs  with  great  agility,  is  skilled  in  hunting,  can  di- 
rect with  unerring  aim  a  gun,  or  bends  with  ease  a  bow,  can 
dexteriously  work  a  canoe,  understands  the  art  of  war,  is  ac- 
quainted with  the  situations  of  the  country,  and  can  make 
his  way  without  a  guide  through  an  immense  forest,  subsist- 
ing during  this  on  a  small  quantity  of  provisions,  they  are 
in  rapture?;  they  will  listen  with  great  attention  to  the 
pleasing  tale,  and  bestow  the  highest  commendation  on  the 
hero  of  it. 

They  make  but  very  little  use  of  physicians  and  medicine^ 
and  consequently  they  have  but  very  few  diseases  among 
them.  There  is  seldom  an  Indian  but  what  blooms  with  the 
appearance  of  health.  They  have  no  midwives  among  them^ 
and  among  several  tribes  the  mother  is  without  the  assis- 
tance of  any  person  being  with  her  at  the  time  of  her  delive- 
ry, not  even  a  femnle  attendance. 

Soon  after  the  birth  of  a  child,  it  is  placed  on  a  board, 
which  is  covered  with  a  skin  stuffed  with  soft  moss:  the 
child  is  laid  on  its  back  and  tied  to  it.  To  these  machines 
are  tied  strings,  by  which  they  hang  them  to  branches  of 
trees;  or,  if  they  do  not  find  trees  handy,  they  lean  them 
against  a  stump  or  stone  while  they  dress  the  deer  or  fish K 
or  do  any  other  domestic  business.  In  this  position  they 
are  kept  until  they  are  several  months  old.  When  token 
out  they  are  suffered  to  go  naked,  and  are  daily  bathed  in 
cold  water,  which  render  them  vigorous  and  active. 

The  diseases  manufactured  by  the  modern  sons  of  dissipa- 
tion, were  unknown  by  them.  These  hardy  disciples  of 
health,  do  not  hear  of  the  powerful  and  painful  eloquence  of 
the  Gout,  Consumption,  and  the  rsst  of  the  long  catalogue  of 


Typhut  diseases,  which  is  preached  to  the  votaries  of  Epi- 
curus and  liacchus,  when  their  repentence  ia  too  late. 

An  Indian  child  is  generally  kept  at  the  breast  until  it 
is  two  years  old,  and  sometimes,  though  rarely,  until  three 

The  Indians  often  occasion  inflammatory  disease,  by  ex- 
cessive eating,  after  a  fast  of  three  or  four  days,  when  retreat* 
ing  from  or  pursuing  an  enemy. 

Tl:e  inequality  of  riches,  the  disappointment  of  ambition, 
and  mercileFB  ofprcEs'one.  are  not  with  them  exciting  caus- 
es of  insanity.  I  made  great  inquiry,  but  was  not  able  to 
-learn,  that  a  single  case  of  melancholy  or  madness  was  ever 
known  among  them. 

The  dreadful  havoc  that  the  small-pox  has  made,  has  no* 
cesearily  been  mentioned. 

The  mode  of  curing  a  fever,  is  by  profuse  perspiration, 
which  is  effected  by  the  patients  being  confined  in  a  close 
tent  or  wigwam,  over  a  hole  in  the  earth,  in  which  red-hot 
stones  are  placed;  a  quant'ty  of  hot  water  is  then  thrown 
upon  the  stones,  which  involves  the  patient  in  a  cloud  of  va- 
pours and  sweat;  in  this  situation  he  rushes  out;  and  plunges 
into  a  river  of  water,  and  from  hence  he  retires  into  a  warm 

They  never  think  of  giving  medicine,  until  they  have  first 
made  an  attempt  to  remove  the  disease  by  sacrifices  end 
•prayer;  and  if  the  patient  recovers  eoon,  it  is  attributed  to 
;the  holy  management  of  the  priest;  and  if  medicine  is  to  be 
used  as  the  last  alternative,  they  never  administer  it  without 
its  being  accompanied  with  prayer,  nnd  a  largo  quantity  of 
meat,  which  they  consume  on  the  fire  for  a  sacrifice. 

They  have  a  plant  among  them,  which  has  the  power  of 
producing  abortion.  It  is  related  by  Mr.  Jefferson  in  his 
Notes  on  Virginia,  that  the  Indians  inhabiting  the  frontiers 
possess  a  plant  that  produces  the  fame  effect. 

LEWIS  AND  CLVRKE.         66 


Indian  mode  of  counting1  tine — Names  of  the  different  months 
— Indian  Ckurts — M>de  of  reckoning  distance — Know- 
ledge of  Arithmetic — Civil  divisions — Names  of  the.  differ- 
ent tribes — Chief* — Democracy  of  government — Heredi* 
tary  succession  of  the  Chief— style  ff  Language,  in  debate  or 
Speech — young  men  not  allowed  to  speak,  #c. 

Conpiilerin^  their  ignorance  of  astronomy,  time  is  very 
rationally  divided  by  t!i3  Indians.  Those  in  the  interior 
parts  (and  of  those  I  would  generally  be  understood  to  speak) 
count  their  years  by  the  winters;  or,  as  they  express  them- 
selves by  snows. 

Some  nations  among-  them  reckon  their  years- by  moons, 
and  makes  them  consist  of  twelve  synod  ical  or  lunar  months, 
observing,  when  thirty  moons  have  waned,  to  add  a  super- 
numerary one,  which  they  term  the  Lost  Moon;  and  then 
begin  to  count  as  before.  They  pay  a  groat  regard  to  the 
first  appearance  of  every  moon;  and  on  the  occasion  always 
repeat  some  joyful  sounds,  stretching  at  the  same  time  their 
hands  towards  it. 

Every  month  has  with  them  a  name  expressive  of  its  sea- 
son; for  instance,  they  call  the  month  of  March  (in  which 
their  year  geneially  begins  at  the  first  new  moon,  after  the 
vernal  Equinox)  tin  Worm  Month  cr  Moon;  because  at 
this  time  the  worms  quit  their  retreats  in  the  bark  of  the 
treee,  wood,  &c.  where  they  have  sheltered  themselves  dur- 
ing the  winter. 

The  m'Mith  cf  Ap-il  i«?  termed  by  them  the  month  of 
Plants.  Miy,  the  month  cf  Flowers.  June  the  Hot  Moon. 
July,  the  liu:k  Moon.  Their  reason  for  thus  denominating 
these  is  obvious. 

August,  the  Sturgeon  Moon;  because  in  this  IDOL  ft  they 
catch  great  numbers  of  that  fish. 

September,  the  Corn  Moon;  because  in  that  month  they 
gather  in  their  Indian  Corn. 

October,  the  Travelling  Moon;  rts  they  leave  at  this  time 
their  villages,  and  travel  towards  the  place  where  they  intend 
to  hunt  during  the  winter. 


November,  the  Beaver  Moon;  fot  in  this  month  the  Beav- 
ers begin  to  take  shelter  in  their  houses,  having  laid  up  a  suf- 
ficient store  of  provisions  for  the  winter  season. 

December,  the  Hunting  Moon;  because  they  employ  this 
month  in  pursuit  of  their  game. 

January,  the  Cold  Moon;  as  it  generally  freezes  harder, 
and  the  cold  is  more  intense  in  this  than  in  any  other  month. 

February,  they  call  the  Snow  Moon,  because  more  snow 
commonly  falls  during  this  month,  than  any  other  in  the  win- 

When  the  Moon  does  not  shine  they  sayjthe  Moon  is  dead; 
and  some  call  the  three  last  days  of  it  the  naked  days. 
The  Moon's  first  appearance  they  term,  is  coming  to  life 

They  make  no  division  of  weeks;  but  days  they  count  by 
sleeps;  half  days  by  pointing  to  the  bun  at  noon;  and  quar- 
ters by  the  rising  and  setting  of  the  sun:  to  express  which 
in  their  traditions  they  make  use  of  very  significant  hiero- 

The  Indians  are  totally  unskilled  In  geography  as  well  as 
all  other  sciences;  and  yet  they  draw  on  their  birch  bark 
very  exact  charts  or  maps  of  the  countries  they  are  acquain- 
ted with.  The  latitude  and  longitude  is  only  wanting  to 
mike  them  tol  r  ibly  complete. 

Their  sole  knowledge  in  astronomy  consistg  in  being  able 
to  point  out  the  pole  star;  by  which  they  regulate  their  course 
when  they  travel  in  the  night. 

They  reckon  the  distance  of  places,  not  by  miles  or  leagues, 
but  by  a  day's  journey,  which  according  to  the  best  calcula- 
tions I  could  make,  appears  to  be  abcut  twenty  English 
miles.  These  they  also  divide  into  halves  and  quarters,  and 
will  demonstrate  them  in 'their  maps  with  great  exactness, 
by  the  hieroglyphics  just  mentioned ,  when  they  regulate  in 
council  their  war  parties,  or  their  most  distant  hunting  ex- 

They  have  no  idea  of  Arithmetic;  and  though  they  are 
able  to  count  any  number,  figures  as  well  as  letters  appear 
mysterious  to  them,  and  above  their,  comprehension. 

Every  separate  body  of  ludians,  is.,,  divide^,  into  bands  or 


tribes,  which  band  or  tribe  forms  a  little  comnr.unity  with  the 
nation  to  which  it  belongs.  As-the  nation  has  some  particu- 
lar symbol  by  which  it  is  d  8  inguished  from  others,  so  each 
tribe  has  a  badge  from  which  it  is  denominated;  as  that  of 
the  Eagie,  the  Panther,  the  Tiger,  the  Buffalo,  &c.  One 
band  is  represented  by  a  Snake,  ano  .her  a  i  ortoise,  a  third 
a  Squirrel,  a  fourth  a  Wolf,  and  a  fifth  a  Buffalo.  Through- 
out every  nation  they  particuiize  themselves  in  the  same 
manner;  and  the  meanest  person  among  them  will  remem- 
ber his  lineal  descent,  and  distinguish  himself  by  his  respec- 
tive family. 

Did  not  many  circumstances  tend  to  confute  the  supposi- 
tion, I  should  be  almost  induced  to  conclude  from  this  dis- 
tinction of  tribes,  and  the  particular  attachment  of  the  In- 
dians to  them,  that  they  de.i.e  their  origin,  as  some  have  as- 
serted, from  the  Israelites. 

Besides  this,  every  nation  distinguishes  itself  by  the  man- 
ner of  constructing  its  tents  or  huts.  And  *o  well  versed 
are  all  the  Indians  in  this  distinction,  that  though  there  ap- 
pears to  be  no  difference  on  the  nicest  observations  made 
by  an  American,  yet  they  will  immediately  discover,  from 
the  position  of  a  pole  left  in  the  ground,  what  nation  has  en- 
camped on  the  spot  many  months  before. 

Kvery  bnnd  has -i  chifjf  who  is  termed  the  great  chief,  or 
chief  warrior;  ar:d  of  his  approved  valor,  to  direct  their  mili- 
tary operations,  and  to  regulate  all  concers  belonging  to  that 
department.  But  this  chief  is  not  considered  as  the  hoad 
of  the  state.  Besides  the  great  warrior  who  is  elected  for 
his  warlike  -qualifications,  there  is  another  who  enjoys  a  pre- 
eminence as  his  h?  r^dit  iry  right,  and  hns  the  more  immediate 
management  of  their  civil  affni'S.  This  ch.'ef  might  with 
great  propriety  bo  denominated  their  Sachem;  whose  arsent 
is  neccssarv  in  all  conveyances  and  treaties,  to  whic^l  he  af- 
fixes the  mark  of  the  tribe  <  r  nation. 

Though  these  two  are  considered  as  the  heads  of  the  band, 
and  the  latter  is  usually  denominated  their  king,  yet  the  In- 
.  dians  are  sensible  of  neither  civil  or  military  subor.Jination. 
''As  every  one  offlbtn  entertains  a  high  opinion  of  his  conse- 
quence, and  is  extremely  tenacious  of  his  liberty,  all  injunc- 


tions  that  carry  with  them  the  appearance  of  a  positive  coin 
mand,  are  instantly  rejected  with  scorn. 

On  this  account,  it  is  seldom  that  their  leaders  are  so  in- 
discreet as  to  give  out  any  of  their  orders  in  a  peremptory 
style;  a  bare  bint  from  a  chief  that  he  thinks  such  a  thing 
necessiry  to  be  done,  instantly  arouses  an  emulation  among 
the  inferior  ranks,  and  it  is  i  mined  iitoly  executed  with  great 
alacrity.  By  this  rne;,hod  the  disgustful  part  of  the  command 
is  evaded,  and  an  authority  that  tails  little  short  of  absolute 
sway  instituted  in  its  room. 

Among  the  Indiana  no  visible  fjrm  of  oovsrnmsnt  is  es- 
tablished; they  allow  of  no  such  distinction  as  magistrate 
and  subject,  every  one  appearing  to  ei  joy  an  independence 
that  cannot  he  c  mtrdled.  The  object  of  government  among 
them  is  rather  foreign  than  domestic,  for  their  attention  seem 
more  be  employed  in  preserving  such  a  union  among  mem- 
bers of  their  tribes  as  will  enable  them  to  watch  the  mo- 
tions of  their  enemies,  and  act  against  them  with  concert 
and  vigour,  than  to  maintain  interior  order  by  any  public  re- 
gulations. If  a  scheme  that  appears  to  be  of  service  to  the 
community  is  proposed  by  the  chief,  every  one  is  at  liberty 
to  choose  whether  he  will  assist  in  carrying  it  on;  for  they 
have  no  compulsory  laws  that  lay  them  under  any  restric- 
tions. If  violence  is  committed,  or  11  od  is  shed,  the  right 
of  revenging  these  misdemeanors  is  left  to  ihe  family  of  the 
injured:  the  chiefs  assume  neither  the  power  of  inflicting  or 
moderating  the  punishment. 

Some  nations,  where  the  dignity  is  hereditary,  limit  the 
succession  to  tho  female  line.  On  the  death  of  a  chief,  his 
sister's  son  sometimes  succeeds  him  in  preference  to  his  own 
son;  and  if  ha  happens  to  have  no  sister,  the  nearest  female 
rela'«,i<|n  assumes  the  dignity.  This  accounts  far  a  woman 
being  at  the  head  of  the  Winuebago  nation,  which,  before  I 
was  acquainted  with  their  laws,  appeared  btrange  to  me. 

Each  fan.ily  Ivis  a  right  to  appoint  one  of  its  chiefs  to  be 
an  sssistai/t  cliLf,  and  vvithoi.t  who^e  consent  nothing  of  a 
public  nature  can  be  carried  into  execuiiM  These  are  gen- 
erally chosen  £>r  their  ability  in  speakinJJ  and  such  only  are 


permitted  to  mako  orations  in  their  councils  and  general  as- 

In  this  body,  with  the  hereditary  chief  at  its  head,  the  su* 
preme  authority  appears  to  be  lodged;  as  by  its  determina- 
tion every  transaction  relative  to  their  hunting  to  their  ma- 
king war  or  peace,  and  to  all  their  pub]ic  concerns,  are  regu- 
lated. Next  to  those,  the  of  warriors  wl.ich  compre- 
hends all  that  are  able  to  bear  arms,  In  Id  t.heir  rank.  This 
division  has  sometimes  at  its  head  the  chief  of  the  nation,  if 
he  has  signalized  himself  by  any  renowned  action,  if  not, 
some  chief  that  has  rendered  himself  farnouj. 

In  their  councils  which  are  held  by  the  foregoing  mem- 
bers, every  affair  of  consequence  is  debated;  and  no  enter- 
prise of  the  leart  moment  undertaken,  unless  it  there  meets 
with  the  general  approbation  of  the  chiefs.  They  common- 
ly assemble  in  a  hut  or  tent  appropriated  to  this  purpose,  and 
being  seated  in  a  circle  on  the  ground,  the  eldest  chief  rises 
and  makes  a  speech,  when  he  has  concluded,  another  gets  up 
and  thus  they  speak  if  necessary,  by  turns. 

On  this  occasion  their  language  is  nervous,  and  their  man- 
ner of  expression  emphatical.  Their  style  is  adorned  with 
images,  comparisons  and  t-trong  metaphors,  and  is  equal  in 
allegories  to  that  of  any  of  the  eastern  nations.  In  all  their 
eet  speeches  t!)3y  express  themselves  with  much  vehem- 
ence, but  in  common  discourse  according  to  our  usual  method 
of  speech. 

The  young  men  are  suffered  to  be  present  at  the  council?, 
though  ihey  are  not  allowed  to  make  a  speech  till  they  are 
regulirly  admitted;  they  however  listen  with -gr^at  atten- 
tion, and  to  show  that  they  both  understand  and  approyo 
of  the  resolutions  taken  by  the  assembled  chiefs,  they  fre- 
quently exclaim,  "That  is  right,*'  "That  is  good." 

The  customory  mode  among  all  ranks  of  expressing  their 
assent,  and  which  they  repeat  at  the  e:ul  of  almost  every  per- 
iod, is  by  uttering  a  kind  cf  forcible  aspiration,  which  seems 
like  an  union  of  the  letters  GAB. 



Dancing' — Euting  dog's Jlcsh — Superstition  -Dangerous  $il- 
uatiou —  Haul  ing —  Wasting —  Dreaming — Agility — Jfietk- 
odof  hunting  buffalo — Hunting  beaver y  &c. 

Dancing  is  a  favorite  exercise  among  the  Indians:  they 
never  meet  on  any  public  occasion,  but  this  makes  a  part  of 
the  entertainment;  and  wh«.*n  they  are  not  engaged  in  war  or 
hunting,  the  youth  of  both  sexes  amuse  themselves  in  this 
manner  every  evening. 

They  always  dance,  as  I  have  jp.tst  observed  at  their  feasts. 
In  these  as  well  as  other  dances,  every  man  rises  in  his  turn, 
and  moves  about  with  great  freedom  and  boldness;  singing 
as  he  does  so,  the  exploits  of  his  ancestors.  During  this  the 
company  who  are, seated  on  the  ground  in  a  circle  around 
the  dancer,  join  with  him  in  making  the  cadence,  by  an  odd 
tune,  which  they  utter  all  together,  and  which  sounds,  «Heh, 
heh,  heh.'  These  notes,  if  they  might  be  so  termed,  are 
articulated  with  a  harsh  accent,  and  strained  out  with  the  ut- 
most force  of  their  lungs;  so  that  one  would  imagine  their 
strength  must  soon  be  exhausted  by  it;  instead  of  which, 
they  repeat  it  with  the  samp-  violence  during  the  whole  oi 
the  entertainment. 

The  women,  particularly  those  of  the  western  nations 
dance  very  gracefully.  They  carry  themselves  erect,  and 
with  their  arms  hanging  down  close  to  their  sides,  mo/e  first 
a  few  yards  to  the  right,  and  then  back  again  to  the  left. — 
This  movement  they  perform  without  taking  any  steps  as 
an  American  would  do,  but  with  their  feet  conjoined,  mov- 
ing by  turns  their  toes  and  heels.  In  this  manner  they  glide 
with  great  agility  to  a  certain  distance,  and  then  return:  and 
let  those  who  join  in  the  d:m:e  be  ever  so  numerous,  they 
keep  time  so  exactly  with  each  other,  that  no  interruption 
ensues.  During  this,  at  stated  periods,  they  mingle  their 
shrill  voices,  with  the  rnarser  ones  of  the  men,  who  sit 
around  (for  it  is  observed  that  the  sexes  never  intermix  in 
the  same  dance)  which,  with  the  music  of  the  drums  and  chi-r 
cicoes,  make  an  agreeable  harn-ony. 

The  Indians  hay e. several  liin.ils  of  dances,  which  they  use 


on  different  occasions,  as  the  Pipe  Calumet  Dance,  the  War 
Dance,  the  Marriage  Dance,  and  the  Dance  of  the  sacrifice. 
The  movements  of  every  one  r>f  thes-e  are  dissimilar;  but  it 
is  almoct  impossible  to  convey  any  idea  of  the  points  in  which 
they  are  unlike. 

Different  nations  likewise  vary  in  their  manner  of  dancing. 
The  Chipeway  throw  themselves  into  a  greater  variety  of 
attitudes  than  any  other  people;  some-times  they  hold  their 
heads  erect,  at  others  they  bend  them  almost  to  the  ground; 
then  recline  on  one  side,  and  immediately  on  the  other. — 
Others  carry  themselves  more  upright,  step  firmer,  and  move 
more  gracelully;  but  they  all  accompany  their  dances  with 
the  disagreeable  noise  just  mentioned. 

The  Pipe  J.ance  is  the  principal  and  most  pleasing  to  a 
spectator  of  any  of  them,  being  the  least  frantic,  and  the 
movement  of  it  most  gracvful.  It  is  but  on  particular  oc- 
casions that  it  is  used:  as  when  ambassadors  from  an  enemy 
arrive  to  treat  of  pence,  or  v\hen  Grangers  of  eminence  pass 
through  their  territories. 

The  War  Dance,  which  they  use  both  brfore  they  set  out 
en  ther  war  parties,  and  on  their  return  from  them,  strikes 
terror  into  strangers.  It  is  performed,  as  others,  amidst  a 
circle  of  the  warriors;  a  chief  generally  begins  it,  who  moves 
from  the  ri.(U  to  the  left,  singing  at  the  same  time  both  his 
own  exploits,  and  those  of  his  aricdfctors.  Wrhen  he  has  con- 
cluded his  accourt  of  any  memorable  action,  he  gives  a  vio- 
lent blow  with  his  war  club,  against  a  post  that  is  fixed  in 
the  ground,  near  the  centre  of  the  assembly  for  this  pur- 

Every  one  dances  in  his  turn,  and  recapitulates  the  won- 
derous  deeds  of  his  family,  till  they  all  at  last  join  in  the 
dance.  Then  it  becomes  trujy  alarming  to  any  stranger 
that  happens  to  be  among  them,  as  they  throw  themselves 
into  every  horrible  and  terrifying  posture  that  can  be  ima- 
gined, rehearsing  nt  the  same  time  the  parts  they  expect  to 
act  ag;iint/I  tLeir  enemies  in  tho  field.  During  this  they  hold 
their,  him;-;)  kiiivns  iu  their  ham's,  with  which,  as  they  whirl 
about,  they  are  every  moment  in  danger  of  cult  ing  each  oth- 
ers throats;  aud  Oiu  tiiey  not  shun  the  threatened  mischief 


with  inconceivable  dexterity,  it  could  not  be  avoided.  By 
these  motions  they  intend  to  represent  the  manner  in  which 
they  kill,  scalp,  and  take  their  prisoneie.  To  hightcn  the 
scene,  they  set  up  the  same  hideous  yells,  cries,  and  war- 
hoops  they  use  in  the  time  of  action:  so  that  it  is  impossible 
to  consider  them  in  any  other  light  than  as  an  assemblage  of 

After  some  hours  spent  in  dancing,  the  feast  begins;  the 
dishes  being  brought  near  me,  I  perceived  that  they  consist- 
ed of  dog's  flesh:  and  I  was  informed  that  at  a)i  public  grand 
feasts  they  never  malts  use  of  any  other  kind  of  food. 

In  this  custom  of  eating  dog's  ilcsh  on  particular  occasions, 
they  resemble  the  inhabitants  of  some  of  the  countries  that 
lie  on  the  northeast  hon'ers  of  Asia.  The  author  of  the  ac- 
count of  Kamschatka,  published  by  order  of  the  empress  of 
Russia:  informs  us,  that  the  people  inhabiting  Koreka,  a 
country  north  of  Karnschatka,  who  wander  about  in  horde 
like  the  Arabs,  when  they  pay  their  worship  to  the  evil  be- 
ings; kill  a  rein  deer  or  a  dog,  the  flesh  of  which  they  eat, 
and  leave  the  he-id  and  tongue  sticking  on  a  pole  with  the 
front  towards  the  east.  Also,  that  when  they  are  afraid  of 
any  infectious  distemper,  they  kill  a  dog,  and  winding  the 
guts  about  two  poles,  pass  between  them..  These  customs 
in  which  they  are  nearly  imitated  by  the  Indians,  seem  to 
add  strength  to  my  supposition,  that  America  was  first  peo- 
pled from  this  quarter. 

«I  know  not/  says  a  traveller  among  them,  "under  what 
.class  of  dances  to  rank  that  performed  by  the  Indians  who 
came  to  my  tent  when  I  landed  near  lake  Pepin,  on  the  banks 
of  the  Mississippi.  When  I  looked  out,  as  I  there  mention- 
ed, I  saw  about  twenty  naked  young  Indians,  the  most  per- 
fect in  their  shape,  and  by  far  the  handsomest  of  any  I  had 
ever  seen,  coming  towards  rne,  and  dancing  as  they  approach- 
ed, to  the  music  of  their  drums.  At  every  ten  or  twelve 
yards  they  halted,  and  set  up  their  yells. and  cries. 

"When  they  reached  my  tent,  I  asked  them  to  come  in; 
which,  without  deigning  to  make  mo  any  answer,  they  did. 
As  I  observed  that  they  were  painted  red  and  black,  as  they 
usually  are  when  they  go  against  an  enemy,  and  perceived 


that  some  par*s  of  the  war  dance  was  intcrmixt  with  their 
other  movements,  I  doubted  not  but  they  were  set  on  by  the 
inimical  chief  who  had  refused  my  salutation:  I  therefore 
determined  to  sell  my  life  as  dear  as  possible.  To  this  pur- 
pose, I  received  them  sitting  on  my  chest  with  my  gun  and 
pistols  beside  me,  and  ordered  rny  men  to  keep  a  watchful 
eye  on  them  and  be  also  upon  thuir  guard  . 

"The  Indians  being  entered  they  continued  their  dance 
alternately,  singing  at  the  same  time  of  their  heroic  exploits, 
and  the  superiority  of  their  race  over  every  people.  To  en- 
force their  language,  though  it  was  uncommonly  nervous  and 
expressive,  and  such  as  would  of  itself  have  carried  terror 
to  the  firmest  heart,  at  the  e:id  of  every  period  they  struck 
their  war  clubs  against  the  poles  of  my  tent  with  such  vio- 
lence, that  I  expected  every  moment  it  would  have  tumbled 
upon  us.  As  each  of  them  in  dancing  round,  passed  by  me 
they  placed  their  right  hand  above  their  eyes,  and  coming 
close  to  me,  looked  ine  steadily  in  the  face,  which  I  could 
not  construe  into  a  token  of  friendship.  My  men  gave  them- 
selves up  for  lost,  and  I  ackiowledge,  fur  my  own  part,  that 
I  never  found  my  apprehensions  more  tumultuous  on  any  oc- 

uWhen  they  had  nearly  ended  their  dance,  I  presented  to 
them  the  pipe  of  peace,  but  they  would  not  receive  it.  I 
then,  as  my  last  resource,  thought  I  would  try  what  presents 
would  do;  accordingly  I  took  from  my  chest  some  ribbands 
and  trinkets,  which  I  laid  before  them.  These  seemed  to 
stagger  their  resolutions,  and  to  avert  in  some  measure  their 
anger;  for  after  holding  a  consultation  together,  they  eat 
down  on  the  ground,  which  Iconsiderad  as  a  favorable  omen. 

"Thus  it  proved  that  in  a  short  time  they  received  the 
pipe  of  peace,  and  lighting  it  first  presented  it  to  me,  and 
then  smoked  with  it  themselves.  Soon  after  they  took  up 
the  presents,  which  had  hitherto  lain  neglected,  and  appear- 
ing to  be  greatly  pleased  with  them,  departed  in  a  friendlj 
manner.  And  nerer  did  I  receive  greater  pleasure  than  at 
getting  rid  of  such  formidable  guests. 

"It  was  not  ever  in  my  power  to  gain  a  thorough  knowl 
edge  of  the  designs  of  my  visitors.     I  had  sufficient  reason 


to  conclude  that  they  were  hostile,  and  that  their  visit,  at  so 
late  tin  hour,  was  made  through  the  instigation  of  the  Grand 
Sautor;  but  I  was  afterwards  informed  that  it  might  be  in- 
tended as  a  compliment  which  they  usually  pay  to  the  chiefs, 
of  every  other  nation  who  happened  to  fall  in  with  them,  and 
that  the  circumstances  in  tlioir  conduct  which  had  appeared 
so  suspicious  to  me,  were  merely  the  ,o(Tects  of  their  vanity 
and  designed  to  impress  on  the  minds  of  those  whom  they 
thus  vi<ited  an  elevated  opinion  of  their  valor  and  prowess. 
In  the  morning  before  1  continued  tny  route,  several  of  their 
wives  brought  me  a  present  of  some  sugar,  for  whom  I  found 
a  few  more  ribbands. 

"The  dance  of  the  sacrifice  is  not  so  denominated  from 
their  offering  up  at  the  same  rime  a  sacrifice  to  any  good  or 
evil  spirit,  but  is  a.dancc  to  which  the  Naudovvessies  .give 
that  title  from  being  used  when  any  public  fortunate  circum- 
stance befals  them.  Whilst  I  resided  amongst  them,  a  fine 
large  deer  accidentally  strayed  into  the  middle  of  their  en- 
cauipircnt,  which  they  soon  destroyed.  As  this  happened 
just  at  the  new  moon,  they  esteemed  it  a  lucky  omen;  and 
having  roasted  it  whole,  every  one  in  the  camp  partook  of  it* 
After  their  feast,  they  all  joined  in  a  dance,  which  they  from 
ite  being  somewhat  of  a  religious  nature,  termed  a  dance  of 
the  sacrifice.5'* 

Hunting  is  the  principal*  occupation  of  the  Indians;  they 
are  trained  to  it  from  their  youth,  and  it  is  an  exercise  which 
is  esteemed  no  less  honorable  than  necessary  toward  their 
subsistence.  A  dexterous  and  resolute  hunter  is  held  in 
nearly  as  great  estimation  by  them  as  a  distinguished  war- 
rior. Scarcely  any  device,  which  the  ingenuity  of  man  has 
discovered  for  ensnaring  or  destroying  those  animals  that 
supply  them  with  food,  or  whose  tkins  are  valuable,  is  un- 
known to  them. 

Whilst  they  are  engaged  in  this  exercise,  they  shake  off 
the  indolence  peculiar  to  their  nature,  and  become  active, 
persevering,  and  indefatigable*  They  are  equally  sagacious 
in  finding  their  prey,  and  in  the  means  they  use  to  destroy 

*See  Dr*  Hubbard's  Compilation  of  Indian  History* 


it.  They  discern  the  footsteps  of  the  beast  they  are  in  pur- 
suit of,  although  they  are  imperceptible  to  every  other  eye, 
and  can  follow  them  with  certainty  through  their  pathless 

The  beasts  that  the  Indians  hunt,  both  for  their  flesh,  on 
which  they  subsist,  and  for  their  skins,  of  which  they  either 
make  their  apparel,  or  barter  with  the  Europeans  for  neces* 
saries,  are  the  buffalo,  elk,  deer,  moose,  carriboo,  bear,  bea- 
ver, otter,  martin,  &c.  I  defer  giving  a  description  of  these 
animals  here,  and  shall  only;  at  present,  treat  of  the  manner 
of  hunting  them. 

The  route  they  shall  take  for  this  purpose,  and  the  parties 
that  shall  go  on  the  different  expeditions,  are  fixed  in  their 
general  councils,  which  are  held  some  time  in  the  summer, 
when  all  the  operations  for  the  ensuing  winter  are  concluded 
on.  The  chief  warrior,  whose  province  it  is  to  regulate 
their  proceedings  on  this  occasion,  with  great  solemnity  is- 
sues out  an  invitation  to  those  who  choose  to  attend  him;  for 
the  Indians,  as  before  observed,  acknowledge  no  superiority, 
nor  have  they  any  idea  of  compulsion;  and  every  one  that 
accepts  it,  prepares  himself  by  fasting  during  several  days. 

The  Indians,  do  not  fast  as  some  other  nations  do,  on  the 
richest  and  most  luxurious  food,  but  they  totally  abstain  from 
every  kind,  either  of  victuals  or  drink;  and  such  is  their  pa- 
tience and  resolution,  that  the  most  extreme  thirst  could  not 
oblige  them  to  taste  a  drop  of  water;  yet  amidst  this  severe 
abstinence  they  appear  cheerful  and  happy. 

The  reasons  they  give  for  thus  fasting,  are,  that  it  enables 
them  freely  to  dream,  in  which  dreams  they  are  informed 
where  they  shall  find  the  greatest  plenty  of  game;  also,  that 
it  averts  the  displeasure  of  the  evil  spirits,  and  induces  them 
to  be  propitious.  They  also  on  these  occasions  blacken  those 
parts  of  their  bodies  th&t  are  uncovered. 

The  fast  being  ended  and  the  place  of  hunting  made  known, 
the  chief  who  is  to  conduct  them,  gives  a  grand  feast  to  those 
who  are  to  form  the  different  parties:  of  which  none  of  them 
dare  to  partake  till  they  have  bathed  themselves.  At  this 
feast,  notwithstanding  they  have  fasted  so  long,  they  eat  with 
great  moderation;  and  the  chief  that  presides  employs  him- 



self  in  rehearsing  the  feats  of  those  who  have  been  most  sue- 
eessful  in  the  business  they  are  about  to  enter  upon.  They 
goon  after  set  out  on  the  march  towards  the  place  appointed, 
painted  or  rather  bedaubed  with  black,  amidst  the  acclama- 
tions of  all  the  people. 

It  is  impossible  to  describe  their  agility  or  perseverance, 
whilst  they  are  in  pursuit  of  their  prey;  neither  thickets, 
ditches,  torrents,  pools,  or  rivers  stop  them;  they  always  go 
straight  forward  in  the  most  direct  line  they  possibly  can, 
and  there  are  few  of  the  savage  inhabitants  of  the  woods 
that  they  cannot  overtake. 

When  they  hunt  for  bears,  they  endeavor  to  find  out  their 
retreats;  for  during  the  winter,  these  animals  conceal  them- 
selves in  the  hollow  trunk  of  trees,  or  make  themselves  holes 
in  the  ground,  where  they  continue  with  food,  whilst  the  se- 
vere weather  lasts. 

When  the  Indians  think  they  have  arrived  at  a  place  where 
these  animals  usually  haunt,  they  form  themselves  into  a 
circle  according  to  their  number,  and  moving  onward,  endea- 
vor, as  they  advance  towards  the  centre,  to  discover  the  re- 
treats of  their  prey.  By  this  means,  if  any  lie  in  the  in- 
termediate space,  they  are  sure  of  arousing  and  bringing 
them  down,  either  with  their  bows  or  ther  guns.  The  bears 
will  take  to  flight  at  sight  of  a  man  or  a  dog,  and  will  only 
make  resistance  when  they  are  extremely  hungry,  or  after 
they  are  wounded. 

The  Indian  method  of  hunting  the  buffalo  is  by  forming  a 
circle  or  a  square,  nearly  in  the  same  manner  as  when  they 
search  for  the  bear.  Having  taken  their  different  stations, 
they  set  the  grass,  which  at  this  time  is  rank  and  dry,  on  fire, 
and  these  animals  who  are  extremely  fearful  of  that  element, 
flying  with  precipitation  before  it,  great  numbers  are  hem- 
med in  a  small  compass,  and  scarcely  a  single  one  escapes. 

They  have  different  ways  of  hunting  the  elk,  the  deer, 
and  the  carriboo.  Sometimes  they  seek  them  out  in  the 
woods,  to  which  they  retire  during  the  severity  of  the  cold, 
where  they  are  easily  shot  from  behind  the  trees.  In  the 
more  northern  climates  they  t-eake  the  advantage  of  the 
weather  to  destroy  the  elk;;  when  the  sun,  has  just  strength, 


enough  to  melt  the  snow,  and  the  frost  in  the  night  forms  a 
kind  of  a  crust  on  the  surface,  this  animal  being  heavy,  breaks 
it  with  his  forked  hoofs,  and  with  difficulty  extricates  him- 
self from  it:  at  this  time  therefore  he  is  soon  overtaken  and 

Some  nations  have  a  method  of  hunting  these  animals 
which  is  more  easily  executed,  and  free  from  danger.  The 
hunting  party  divide  themselves  into  two  bands,  and  choos- 
ing a  spot  near  the  borders  of  some  river,  one  party  embarks 
on  board  their  canoes,  whilst  the  other  forming  themselves 
into  a  semicircle  on  the  land,  the  flanks  of  which  reach  the 
shore,  let  loose  their  dogs,  and  by  this  means  rouse  all  the 
game  that  lies  within  these  bounds;  they  then  drive  them 
towards  the  river,  into  which  they  no  sooner  enter,  than  the 
greatest  part  of  them  are  immediately  despatched  by  those 
who  remain  in  the  canoes. 

Both  the  elk  and  buffalo  are  very  furious  when  they  are 
wounded,  and  will  turn  fiercely  on  their  pursuers,  and  tram- 
ple them  under  their  feet  if  the  hunter  finds  no  means  to 
complete  their  destruction,  or  does  not  seek  for  security  in 
flight  to  some  adjacent  tree;  by  this  method  they  are  frequent- 
ly avoided,  and  so  tired  with  the  pursuit,  that  they  volunta- 
rily give  it  over. 

But  the  hunting  in  which  the  Indians,  particularly  those 
who  inhabit  the  northern  parts,  chiefly  employ  themselves, 
and  from  which  they  reap  the  greatest  advantage,  is  the  bea- 
ver hunting.  The  season  for  this  is  throughout  the  whole 
of  the  winter,  from  November  to  April;  during  which  time 
the  fur  of  these  animals  is  in  the  greatest  perfection.  A  de- 
scription of  this  extraordinary  animal,  the  construction  of 
their  huts,  and  the  regulations  of  their  almost  rational  com- 
munity, 1  shall  give  in  another  place. 

The  hunters  make  use  of  several  methods  to  destroy  them. 
Those  generally  practiced,  are  either  that  of  taking  them 
in  snares,  cutting  through  the  ice,  or  opening  their  cause- 

As  the  eyes  of  these  animals  are  very  quick  and  their 
hearing  exceedingly  acute,  great  precaution  is  necessary  in 
approaching  their  bodies;  for  as  they  seldom  go  far  from  the 


water,  and  their  houses  are  always  built  close  to  the  side  of 
some  large  river  or  lake,  or  dams  of  their  own  construction, 
upon  the  least  alarm  they  hasten  to  the  deepest  part  of  the 
water,  and  dive  immediately  to  the  bottom;  as  they  do  this 
they  make  a  great  noise  by  beating  the  water  with  their 
tails;  on  purpose  to  put  the  whole  fraternity  on  their  guard. 

They  take  them  with  snares  in  the  following  manner* 
though  the  beavers  usually  lay  up  a  sufficient,  store  of  provi- 
sions to  serve  for  their  subsistence  during  the  winter,  they 
make  from  time  to  time  excursions  to  the  neighboring  woods 
to  procure  fresh  supplies  of  food. 

The  hunters  having  found  out  their  haunts,  place  a  trap  in 
their  way,  baited  with  small  pieces  of  bark, -or  young  shoots 
of  trees,  which  the  beaver  has  no  sooner  laid  hold  of,  than  a 
large  log  of  wood  falls  upon  him,  and  breaks  his  back;  his 
enemies,  who  are  upon  the  watch  soon  appear,  and  instant- 
ly despatch  the  helpless  animal. 

At  other  times  when  the  ice  on  the  rivers  and  lakes  is 
about  half  a  foot  thick,  they  make  an  opening  through  it  with 
their  hatchets,  to  which  the  beavers  will  soon  hasten,  on  be- 
ing disturbed  at  their  houses,  for  a  supply  of  fresh  air.  As 
their  breath  occasions  a  considerable  motion  in  the  water,  the 
hunter  has  sufficient  of  their  approach,  and  methods  are  ea- 
sily taken  for  knocking  them  on  the  head  the  moment  they 
appear  above  the  surface. 

When  the  houses  of  the  beavers  happen  to  be  near  a  riv- 
ulet, they  are  more  easily  destroyed:  the  hunters  then  cut 
the  ice,  and  spreading  a  net  under  it,  break  down  the  cabins 
of  the  beavers,  who  never  fail  to  make  towards  the  deepest 
part,  where  they  are  entangled  and  taken.  But  they  must 
not  be  suffered  to  remain  there  long,  as  they  would  soon  ex- 
tricate themselves  with  their  teeth,  which  are  well  known  to 
be  excessively  sharp  and  strong. 

The  Indians  take  great  care  to  hinder  their  dogs  from 
touching  the  bones  of  the  beavers.  The  reasons  they  give 
for  these  precautions,  are,  first,  that  the  bones  are  so  exces- 
sively hard,, they  spoil  the  teeth  of  the  dogs;  and  secondly, 
they  are  apprehensive  they  shall  so  exasperate  the  spirits  of 


the  beavers  by  this  permission,  as  to  render  the  next  hunting 
season  unsuccessful. 

When  the  Indians  destroy  buffaloe.  elk,  deer,  &c.  they 
generally  divide  the  flesh  of  such  as  they  have  taken  among 
the  tribe  to  which  they  belong.  But  in  hunting  the  beaver, 
a  few  families  usually  unite  and  divide  the  spoil  among 
them.  Indeed,  in  the  first  instance  they  generally  pay  some 
attention  in  the  division  to  their  own  families;  but  no  jeal- 
ousies or  murmurings  are  ever  known  to  arise  on  account  of 
any  apparent  partiality. 

Among  the  Naudowessies,  if  a  person  shoots  a  deer,  buf- 
falo, &c.  and  it  runs  a  considerable  distance  before  it  drops, 
where  a  person  belonging  to  another  tribe,  being  nearer,  first 
sticks  a  knife  into  it,  the  game  is  considered  as  the  property 
of  the  latter,  notwithstanding  it  had  been  mortally  wounded 
by  the  former.  Though  this  custom  appears  to  be  arbitrary 
and  unjust,  yet  the  people,  cheerfully  submit  to  it.  This 
decision  is,  however,  very  different  from  that  practised  by 
the  Indians  on  the  back  of  the  colonies,  where  the  first  per- 
son that  hits  is  entitled  to  the  best  share. 


Age  necessary  for  warriors — Implimerds  of  war — Causes  of 
war — Boundaries  of  territory — Propensity  for  war — Jl 
war  Chiefs  harangue  to  his  soldiers— War  council— Dreams 
— Fasting — Influence  of  Priests  and  Women — Mode  of 
soliciting  allies — Mode  of  declaring  war — Never  encum- 
bered with  baggage  in  war — Protecting  Spirits — Strata- 
gem—  Time  of  attack — Disposing  of  a  conquered  enemy — 
Eluding  their  pursuers — Securing  prisoners — Death  song 
—  Treatment  of  prisoners — Slaves,  &c. 

The  Indians  begin  to  bear  arms  at  the  age  of  fifteen,  and 
lay  them  aside  when  they  arive  at  the  age  of  sixty.  Some 
nations  to  the  southward,  I  have  been  informed,  do  not  con- 
tinue their  military  exertions  after  they  are  fifty. 

In  every  band  or  nation  there  is  a  select  number  who  are 
styled  the  warriors,  who  are  always  ready  to  act  either  of- 
fensively or  defensively  as  occasion -requires.  These  are 


well  armed,  bearing  the  weapons  commonly  used  among  them 
which  vary  according  to  the  situation  of  their  countries. — 
Some  make  use  of  tomahawks,  knives,  and  fire-arms;  but 
those  who  have  not  an  opportunity  of  purchasing  these  kinds 
of  weapons,  use  bows  and  arrows,  and  also  the  Casse  Tete, 
or  War  Club. 

The  Indians  that  inhabit  still  further  to  the  westward,  a 
country  which  extends  to  the  South  Sea,  use  in  fight  a  war- 
like instrument  that  is  very  uncommon.  Having  great  plen- 
ty of  horses,  they  always  attack  their  oaemies  on  horseback, 
and  encumber  themselves  with  no  other  weapon  than  a  stone 
of  a  middling  size,  curiously  wrought,  which  they  fasten  by 
a  string  about  a  yard  and  a  half  long,  to  their  right  arm,  a 
little  above  the  elbow.  These  stones  they  conveniently  car- 
ry in  their  hands  till  they  reach  their  enemies,  and  then 
with  great  dexterity,  as  they  ride  full  speed,  never  fail  of 
doing  execution.  The  country  which  these  tribes  possess, 
abounding  with  large  extensive  plains,  those  who  attack  them 
seldom  return;  as  the  swiftness  of  the  horse  on  which  they 
are  mounted,  enables  them  to  overtake  even  the  fleetest  of 
their  invaders. 

I  was  informed  that  unless  they  found  Morasses  or  thick- 
ets, to  which  they  could  retire  they  were  sure  of  being  cut 
off;  to  prevent  this  they  always  took  care  whenever  they 
made  an  onset,  to  do  it  near  such  retreats  as  were  impassa- 
ble for  cavalry,  they  then  having  a  great  advantage  over 
their  enemies,  whose  weapons  could  not  reach  them  there. 

Some  nations  make  use  of  a  javelin,  pointed  with  bone, 
worked  into  different  forms;  but  the  Indian  weapons  in  gen- 
eral are  bows  and  arrows,  and  the  short  club  already  men- 
tioned. The  latter  is  made  of  a  very  hard  wood,  and  the 
head  of  it  fashioned  round  like  a  ball,  about  three  inches  and 
a  half  diameter:  in  this  rotund  part  is  fixed  an  edge  resem- 
bling that  of  a  tomahawk,  either  of  steel  or  flint,  whichever 
they  can  procure. 

The  dagger  is  peculiar  to  some  nations,  and  of  ancient 
construction,  but  they  can  give  no  account  how  long  it  has 
been  in  use  among  them.  It  was  originally  made  of  flint  or 
.bone,  but  since  tb.ey  have  had  communication  with  the  Eu- 


ropean  traders  they  have  formed  it  of  steel.  The  length  of 
it  is  about  ten  inches,  and  that  part  close  the  handle  nearly 
three  inches  broad.  Its  edges  are  keen,  and  it  gradually  ta- 
pers towards  a  point.  They  wear  it  in  a  sheath  made  of 
deer's  leather,  neatly  ornamented  with  porcupine's  quills; 
and  it  is  usually  hung  by  a  string,  decorated  in  the  same  man- 
ner, which  reaches  as  low  only  as  the  breast.  This  curious 
weapon  is  worn  by  a  few  of  the  principal  chiefs  alone,  and 
considered  both  as  an  useful  instrument,  and  an  ornamental 
badge  of  superiority. 

I  observed  among  them  a  few  targets  or  shields,  made  of 
raw  buffalo  hides,  and  in  the  form  of  those  used  by  the  an- 
cients; but  as  the  number  of  these  was  small,  and  I  could 
gain  no  intelligence  of  the  sera  in  which  they  first  were  in- 
troduced among  them,  I  suppose  those  I  saw  had  descended 
from  father  to  son,  for  many  generations. 

The  reasons  the  Indians  give  for  making  war  against  one 
another,  are  much  the  same  as  those  urged  by  more  civilized 
nations  for  disturbing  the  tranquility  of  their  neighbors. — 
The  pleas  of  the  former  are  in  general  however,  more  ra- 
tional and  just,  than  such  as  are  brought  by  Europeans  rn 
vindication  of  their  proceedings. 

The  extension  of  empire  is  seldom  a  motive  with  these 
people  to  invade  and  to  commit  depredations  on  the  territo- 
ries ef  those  who  happen  to  dwell  near  them.  To  secure 
the  rights  of  hunting  within  particular  limits,  to  maintain 
the  liberty  of  passing  through  their  accustomed  tracts,  and 
to  guard  those  lands,  which  they  consider  from  a  long  ten- 
ure as  their  own,  against  any  infringement,  are  the  general 
causes  of  those  dissensions  that  so  often  break  out  between 
the  Indian  nations,  and  which  are  carried  on  with  so  much 

Though  strangers  to  the  idea  of  separate  property,  yet  the 
most  uncultivated  among  them  are  well  acquainted  with  the 
rights  of  the  community  to  the  domains  they  possess,  and 
oppose  with  vigor  every  encroachment  on  them. 

Notwithstanding  it  is  generally  supposed,  that  from  their 
territories  being  so  extensive,  the  boundaries  of  them  cannot 
be  ascertained,  yet  I  am  well  assured  that  the  limits  of  eack 


nation  in  the  interior  parts  are  laid  down  in  their  rude  plans 
with  great  precision.  By  theirs,  as  I  have  just  observed, 
wae  I  enabled  to  regulate  my  own;  and  after  the  most  exact 
observations  and  inquiries,  1  found  but  very  few  instances  ii. 
which  they  erred. 

But  interest  is  not  either  the  most  frequent  or  most  pow- 
erful incentive  to  their  making  war  on  each  other.  The 
passion  of  revenge,  which  is  the  distinguishing  characteris- 
tic of  these  people,  is  the  most  general  motive.  Injuries 
are  felt  by  them  with  exquisite  sensibility,  and  vengeance 
pursued  with  unremitted  ardor.  To  this  may  be  added,  that 
natural  excitation  which  every  Indian  is  sensible  of  as  soon 
as  he  approaches  the  age  of  manhood,  to  give  proof  of  his 
valor  and  prowess. 

As  they  are  early  possessed  with  a  notion  that  war  ought 
to  be  the  chief  business  of  their  lives,  that  there  is  nothing 
more  desirable  than  the  reputation  of  being  a  great  warrior, 
and  that  the  scalps  of  their  enemies,  or  a  number  of  prisoners 
are  alone  to  ba  esteemed  valuable,  it  is  not  to  be  wondered 
at  that  the  young  Indians  are  continually  restless  and  uneasy 
if  their  ardor  is  repressed,  and  they  are  kept  in  a  state  of  in- 
activity. Either  of  these  propensities,  the  desire  of  re- 
venge, or  the  gratification  of  an  impulse,  that  by  degrees  be- 
comes habitual  to  them,  is  sufficient,  frequently  to  induce 
them  to  commit  hostilities  on  some  of  the  neighboring  na- 

When  the  chiefs  find  any  occasion  for  making  war,  they 
endeavor  to  arouse  their  habitudes,  and  by  that  means  soon 
excite  their  warriors  to  take  arms.  For  this  purpose  they 
make  use  of  their  material  eloquence,  nearly  in  the  following 
words,  which  never  fails  of  proving  effectual:  "the  bones  of 
our  deceased  countrymen  lie  uncovered,  they  call  out  to  us 
to  revenge  their  wrongs,  and  we  must  satisfy  their  request. 
Their  spirits  cry  out  against  us.  They  must  be  appeased. 
The  genii,  who  are  the  guardians  of  our  honor,  inspire  us 
with  a  resolution  to  seek  the  enemies  of  our  murdered  broth- 
ers. Let  us  go  and  devour  those  by  whom  they  were  slain. 
Sit  there  no  longer  inactive,  give  way  to  the  impulse  of  your 
natural  valor,  anoint  your  hair,  paint  your  faces,  fill  yo»r 


quivers,  cause  the  forest  to  resound  with  your  songs,  console 
the  spirits  of  the  dead,  and  tell  them  they  shall  be  reven- 

Animated  by  these  exhortations  the  warriors  snatch  their 
arms  in  a  transport  of  fury,  sing  the  song  of  war,  and  burn 
with  impatience  to  imbrue  their  hands  in  the  blood  of  their 

Sometimes  private  chiefs  assemble  small  parties  and  make 
excursions  against  those  with  whom  they  are  at  war,  or  such 
as  have  injured  them.  A  single  warrior,  prompted  by  re- 
venge or  a  desire  to  show  his  prowess,  will  march  unatten- 
ded several  hundred  miles,  to  surprise  and  cut  off  a  stragling 

These  irregular  sallies  however,  are  not  always  approved 
of  by  the  eider  chiefs,  though  they  are  often  obliged  to  con- 
nive at  them. 

But  when  a  war  is  national  and  undertaken  by  the  com- 
munity, their  deliberations  are  formal  and  slow.  The  el- 
ders assemble  in  council,  to  which  all  the  head  warriors  and 
young  men  are  admitted,  where  they  deliver  their  opinions 
in  solemn  speeches,  weighing  with  maturity  the  nature  of 
the  enterprise  they  are  about  to  engage  in,  and  balancing 
with  great  sagacity,  the  advantages  or  inconveniences  that 
will  arise  from  it. 

Their  priests  are  also  consulted  on  the  subject,  and  even 
sometimes,  the  advice  of  the  most  intelligent  of  their  wo- 
men is  asked. 

If  the  determination  be  for  war,  they  prepare  for  it  with- 
out much  ceremony. 

The  chief  warrior  of  a  nation  does  not  on  all  occasions 
head  the  war  party  himself,  he  frequently  deputes  a  warrior 
of  whose  valor  and  prudence  he  has  a  good  opinion.  The 
person  then  fixed  on  being  first  bedaubed  with  black,  observes 
a  fast  uf  several  days,  during  which  he  invokes  the  Great 
Spirit,  or  deprecates  the  anger  of  the  evil  ones,  holding  while 
it  lasts  no  converse  with  any  of  his  tribe. 

He  is  particularly  careful  at  the  same  time  to  observe  his 
dreams,  for  on  these  do  they  suppose  their  success  will  in  a 
great  measure  depend;  and  from  the  firm  persuasion  every 


Indian,  actuated  by  his  own  presumptous  thoughts  is  im- 
pressed with,  that  he  shall  march  forth  to  certain  victory, 
these  are  generally  favorable  to  his  wishes. 

After  he  has  fasted  as  long  as  custom  prescribes,  he  as- 
sembles the  warriors,  and  holding  a  belt  of  wampum  in  his 
hand,  thus  addresses  them: 

"Brothers!  by  the  inspiration  of  the  Great  Spirit  I  now 
speak  unto  you,  and  by  him  am  I  prompted  to  carry  into  ex- 
ecution the  intentions  which  I  am  about  to  disclose  to  you. 
The  blood  of  our  deceased  brother  is  not  yet  wiped  away; 
their  bodies  are  not  yet  covered,  and  I  am  going  to  perform 
this  duty  to  them. 

Having  then  made  known  to  them  all  the  motives  that  in- 
duce him  to  take  up  arms  against  the  nation  with  whom  they 
are  to  engage,  he  thus  proceeds:  "I  have  therefore  resolved 
to  march  through  the  war  path  to  surprise  them.  We  will 
cut  their  flesh  and  drink  their  blood.;  we  will  take  scalps  and 
make  prisoners;  and  should  we  perish  in  this  glorious  enter- 
prise, we  shall  not  be  forever  hid  in  the  dust,  for  this  belt 
shall  be  a  recompense  to  him  who  buries  the  dead."  Hav- 
ing said  this,  he  lays  on  the  ground,  and  he  who  takes  it  up 
declares  himself  his  lieutenant,  and  is  considered  as  the  se- 
cond in  command;  this,  however,  is  only  done  by  some  dis- 
tinguished warrior  who  has  a  right  by  the  number  of  his 
scalps,  to  the  post. 

Though  the  Indians  thus  assert  that  they  will  eat  the 
flesh  and  drink  the  blood  of  their  enemies,  the  threat  is  only 
to  be  considered  as  a  figurative  expression.  Notwithstand- 
ing they  sometimes  devour  t*ie  hearts  of  those  they  slay, 
and  drink  the  blood,  by  way  of  bravado,  or  to  gratify  in  a 
more  complete  manner  their  revenge. 

The  chief  is  now  washed  from  his  sable  covering,  anointed 
with  bear's  fat,  and  painted  with  their  red  paint,  in  such  fi- 
gures as  will  make  him  appear  most  terrible  to  his  enemies. 
He  then  sings  the  war  song,  and  enumerates  his  warlike  ac- 
tions Having  done  this  he  fixes  his  eyes  on  the  sun,  and 
pays  his  adoration  to  the  Great  Spirit,  in  which  he  is  accom- 
panied by  all  the  warriors. 

This  ceremony  is  followed  with  dances,  such  as  I  have  be* 


fore  described;  and  the  whole  concludes  with  a  feast  which 
usually  consists  of  dog's  flesh. 

This  feast  is  held  in  the  hut  or  tent  of  the  chief  warrior, 
to  which  all  those  who  intend  to  accompany  him  in  his  ex- 
pedition send  their  dishes  to  be  filled;  and  during  the  feast, 
notwithstanding  he  has  fasted  so  long,  he  sits  composedly 
with  his  pipe  in  his  mouth,  and  recounts  the  valorous  deeds 
of  his  family. 

As  the  hopes  of  having  their  wounds,  should  they  receive 
any,  properly  treated,  and  expeditiously  cured,  must  be  some 
additional  inducement  to  the  warriors  to  expose  themselves 
more  freely  to  danger,  the  priests,  who  are  also  their  doctors, 
prepare  such  medicines  as  will  prove  efficacious.  With  great 
ceremony  they  carry  various  roots  and  plants  and  pretend 
that  they  impart  to  them  the  power  of  healing. 

Notwithstanding  this  superstitious  method  of  proceeding, 
it  is  very  certain  that  they  have  acquired  a  knowledge  of  ma- 
ny plants  and  herbs  that  are  of  a  medical  quality,  and  which 
they  know  how  to  use  with  skill. 

From  the  time  the  resolution  of  engaging  in  war  is  taken, 
to  the  departure  of  the  warriors,  the  nights  are  spent  in  fes- 
tivity, and  their  days  in  making  the  needful  preparations. 

If  it  is  thought  necessary  by  the  nation  going  to  war,  to 
solicit  the  alliance  of  any  neighboring  tribe,  they  fix  upon 
one  of  their  chiefs  who  speaks  the  language  of  that  people 
well,  and  who  is  a  good  orator,  and  send  to  them  by  him  a 
belt  of  wampum,  on  which 'is  specified  the  purport  of  the 
embassy  in  figures  that  every  nation  is  acquainted  with. — 
At  the  same  time  he  carries  with  him  a  hatched  painted 

As  soon  as  he  reaches  the  camp  or  village  to  which  he  is 
destined,  he  acquaints  the  chief  of  the  tribe  with  the  general 
tenor  of  his  commission,  who  immediately  assembles  a  coun- 
cil, to  which  the  ernbassador  is  invited.  There  having  laid 
the  hatchet  on  the  ground,  he  holds  the  belt  in  his  hand,  and 
enters  more  minutely  into  the  occasion  of  the  embassy.  In 
his  speech  he  invites  them  to  take  up'the  hatchet,  and  as 
goon  as  he  has  finished  speaking,  delivers  the  belt. 

If  his  hearers  are  inclined  to  become  auxiliaries  to  his 


nation,  a  chief  steps  forward  and  takes  up  the  hatchet,  and 
they  immediately  espouse,  with  spirit,  the  cause  they  have 
thus  engaged  to  support.  But  if,  on  this  application,  neither 
the  belt  cr  hatchet  are  accepted,  the  emissary  concludes  that 
the  people  whose  assistance  he  solicits,  have  already  entered 
into  an  alliance  with  the  foes  of  his  nation,  and  returns  with 
speed  to  inform  his  countrymen  of  his  ill  success. 

The  manner  in  which  the  Indians  declare  war  against 
each  other,  is  by  sending  a  slave  with  a  hatchet,  the  handle 
of  which  is  painted  red,  to  the  nation  which  they  intend  to 
break  with;  and  the  messenger  notwithstanding  the  danger 
to  which  he  is  exposed  from  the  sudden  fury  of  those  whom 
he  thus  sets  at  defiance,  executes  his  commission  with  great 

Sometimes  this  token  of  defiance  has  s'uch  an  instantane- 
ous effect  on  those  to  whom  it  is  presented,  that  in  the  first 
transports  of  their  fury  a  small  party  will  issue  forth,  with- 
out waiting  for  the  permission  of  the  elder  chiefs,  and  slay- 
ing the  first  of  the  offending  nation  they  meet,  cut  open  the 
body  and  stick  a  hatchet  of  the  same  kind  as  that  they  just 
received,  into  the  heart  of  their  slaughtered  foe.  Among 
the  more  remote  tribes  this  is  done  with  an  arrow  or  spear, 
the  end  of  which  is  painted  red.  And  the  more  to  exasper- 
ate, they  dismember  the  body,  to  show  that  they  esteem  them 
not  as  men,  but  as  old  women. 

The  Indians  seldom  take  ths  field  in  large  bodies,  as  such 
numbers  would  require  a  greater  degree  of  industry  to  pro- 
vide for  their  subsistence,  during  their  tedious  marches 
through  dreary  forests  or  long  voyages  over  lakes  and  rivers, 
than  they  would  care  to  bestow. 

Their  armies  are  never  encumbered  with  baggage  or  mil- 
itary stores.  Each  warrior,  besides  his  weapons,  carries 
with  him  only  a  mat,  and  whilst  at  a  distance  from  the  fron- 
tiers of  the  enemy  supports  himself  with  the  game  he  kills 
or  the  fish  he  catches. 

When  they  pass  through  a  country  where  they  have  no 
apprehensions  of  meeting  with  an  enemy,  they  use  very  lit- 
tle precaution,  sometimes  there  are  scarcely  a  dozen  warri- 
ors left  together;  the  rest  being  in  pursuit  of  their  game; 


but  though  they  should  have  roved  to  a  very  considerable 
distance  from  the  war-path,  they  are  sure  to  arrive  at  the 
place  of  rendezvous  by  the  hour  appointed. 

They  always  pitch  their  tents  long  before  sunset;  and  be- 
ing naturally  presumptuous,  take  very  little  care  to  gua^d 
against  a  surprise.  They  place  great  confidence  in  their 
Manitous,  or  household  gods,  which  they  carry  with  them; 
and  being  persuaded  that  they  take  upon  them  the  office  of 
sentinels,  they  sleep  very  securely  under  their  protection. 

These  Manitous,  as  they  are  called  by  some  nations  but 
which  are  termed  Wakons,  that  is  spirits,  by  the  Naudowes- 
sies,  are  nothing  more  than  the  otter  and  martin  skins  I  have 
already  described;  for  which,  however,  they  have  a  great 

After  they  have  ~ entered  the  enemy's  country,  no  people 
can  be  more  cautious  and  circumspect j  fires  are  no  longer 
lighted,  no  more  shouting  is-heard,  nor  the  game  no  longer 
pursued.  They  are  not  even  permitted  to  speak;  but  must 
convey  whatever  they  have  to  impart  to  each  other,  by  signs 
and  motions. 

They  now  proceed  wholly  by  stratagem  and  ambuscade. 
Having  discovered  their  enemies,  they  send  to  reconnoitre 
them;  and  a  council  is  immediately  held,  during  which  they 
speak  only  in  whispers,  to  consider  of  the  intelligence  im- 
parted by  those  who  were  sent  out. 

The  attack  is  generally  made  just  before  day-break,  at 
which  period  they  suppose  their  foes  to  be  in  the  soundest 
sleep.  Throughout  the  whole  of  the  preceding  night  they 
will  lie  flat  upon  their  faces,  without  stirring:  and  make 
their  approaches  in  the  same  posture,  creeping  upon  their 
hands  and  feet  till  they  are  got  within  bow-shot  of  those  they 
have  destined  to  destruction.  On  a  signal  given  by  the  chief 
warrior,  to  which  the  whole  body  makes  answer  by  the  most 
hideous  yells,  they  all  start  up,  and,  discharging  their  ar- 
rows in  the  same  instant,  without  giving  their  adversaries 
time  to  recover  from  the  confusion  into  which  they  are  thrown, 
pour  in  upon  them  with  their  war  clubs  or  tomahawks. 

The  Indians  think  there  is  little  glory  to  be  acquired  from 
attacking  their  enemies  openly  in  the  field;  their  greatest 


pride  is  to  surprise  and  destroy.  They  seldom  engage  with- 
.out  a  manifest  appearance  of  advantage.  If  they  find  the 
enemy  on  their  guard,  too  strongly  entrenched,  or  superior 
in  numbers,  they  retire,  provided  there  is  an  opportunity  of 
doing  so.  And  they  esteem  it  the  greatest  qualification  of 
a  chief  warrior,  to  be  able  to  manage  an  attack,  so  as  to  de- 
stroy as  many  of  the  enemy  as  possible,  at  the  expense  of  a 
few  men. 

When  the  Indians  succeed  in  their  silent  approaches,  and 
are  able  to  force  the  camp  which  they  attack,  a  scene  of  hor- 
ror that  exceeds  description  ensues.  The  savage  fierceness 
of  the  conquerors,  and  the  desperation  of  the  conquered, 
who  well  know  what  they  have  to  expect  should  they  fall 
alive  into  the  hands  of  their  assailants,  occasion  the  most 
extraordinary  exertions  on  both  sides.  The  figure  of  the 
combatants  all  besmeared  with  black  and  red  paint,  and  cov- 
ered with  the  blood  of  the  slain,  their  horrid  yells  and  un- 
governable fury,  are  not  to  be  conceived  by  those  who  have 
never  seen  them.  Though  the  Indians  are  negligent  in 
guarding  against  surprise,  they  are  alert  and  dexterous  in 
surprising  their  enemies.  To  their  caution  and  persever- 
ance in  stealing  on  the  party  they  design  to  attack,  they  add 
that  admirable  talent,  or  rather  instinctive  qualification  I 
have  already  described,  of  tracing  out  those  they  are  in  pur- 
suit of.  On  the  smoothest  grass,  on  the  hardest  earth,  and 
even  on  the  very  stones  will  they  discover  the  traces  of  an 
enemy,  and  by  the  shape  of  the  footsteps,  and  the  distance 
between  the  prints,  distinguish  not  only  whether  it  is  a  man 
or  a  woman  who  has  passed  that  way,  but  even  the  nation 
to  which  they  belong.  However  incredible  this  might  ap- 
pear, yet,  from  the  many  proofs  I  received  whilst  among 
them  of  their  amazing  sagacity  in  this  point,  I  see  no  rea- 
son to  discredit  even  these  extraordinary  extions  of  it. 

When  they  have  overcome  an  enemy,  and  victory  is  no 
longer  doubtful,  the  conquerers  first  despatch  all  such  as  they 
think  they  shall  not  be  able  to  carry  off  without  great  trou- 
ble, and  then  endeavor  to  take  as  many  prisoners  as  possible; 
after  this  they  return  to  scalp  those  who  are  either  dead,  o*. 
too  much  wounded  to  be  taken  with  them. 


At  this  business  they  are  exceedingly  expert.  They  seize 
tii3  head  of  the  disabled  or  dead  enemy,  and,  placing  one  of 
their  feet  on  the  neck,  twist  their  left  hand  in  the  hair;  by 
this  means,  having  extended  the  skin,  that  covers  the  top  of 
the  head,  they  draw  out  their  .scalping"  knives,  which  are  al- 
ways kept  in  good  order  ibr  this  cruel  purpose,  and  with  a 
few  dexterous  strokes  takes  off  the  part  that  is  termed  the 
scalp.  They  are  so  expeditious  in  doing  this,  that  the  whole 
time  required,  scarcely  exceeds  a  minute.  These  they  pre- 
serve as  monuments  of  their  prowess,  and  at  the  same  time 
as  proofs  of  the  vengeance  they  have  inflicted  on  their  ene- 

If  two  Indians  seize  in  the  same  instant  a  prisoner,  and 
seem  to  have  an  equal  claim,  the  contest  between  them  is 
soon  decided;  for  to  put  a  speedy  end  to  any  dispute  that 
might  arise,  the  person  that  is  apprehensive  he  shall  lose  his 
expected  reward,  immediately  has  recourse  to  his  tomahawk 
or  war  club,  and  knocks  on  the  head  the  unhappy  cause  .of 
their  contention. 

Having  completed  their  purposes,  and  made  as  much  ha- 
voc as  possible,  they  immediately  retire  towards  their  own 
country,  with  the  spoil  they  have  acquired,  for  fear  of  being 

Should  this  be  the  case,  they  make  use  of  many  strata- 
gems to  elude  the  searches  of  the  pursuers.  They  some-, 
times  scatter  leaves,  sand,  or  dust  over  the  prints  of  their 
feet:  sometimes  tread  in  each  other's  footsteps:  and  some- 
times lift  their  feet  so  high  and  tread  so  lightly,  as  not  to 
make  any  impression  on  the  ground.  But  if  they  find  all 
these  precautions  unavailing,  and  that  they  are  near  being 
overtaken,  they  first  despatch  and  scalp  their  prisoners,  and 
then  dividing,  each  endeavors  to  regain  his  native  country 
by  a  different  route.  This  prevents  all  further  pursuit;  for 
their  pursuers  now  despairing,  either  of  gratifying  their  re- 
venge, or  releasing  those  of  their  friends  who  were  made  cap- 
tive, return  home. 

If  the  successful  party  is  so  lucky  as  to  make  good  their 
retreat  unmolested,  they  hasten  with  the  greatest  expedition 
to  reach  a  country  where  they  may  be  perfectly  secure;  and 


that  their  wounded  companions  may  not  retard  their  fight, 
they  carry  them  by  turns  in  litters,  or  if  it  is  in.  the  winter 
season,  draw  them  on  sledges. 

The  prisoners  during  their  march,  are  guarded  with  the 
greatest  care.  During  the  day,  if  the  journey  is  over  land* 
they  are  always  held  by  some  of  the  victorious  party;  if  by 
water,  they  are  fastened  to  the  canoe.  In  the  night  time 
they  are  stretched  along  the  ground  quite  naked,  with  their 
legs,  arms,  and  neck  fastened  to  hooks  fixed  in  the  ground. 
Besides  this,  cords  are  tied  to  their  arms  or  legs,  which  are 
heid  by  an  Indian,  who  instantly  awakes  at  the  least  motion 
of  them. 

During  their  march  they  oblige  their  prisoners  to  sing 
their  death  song,  which  generally  consists  of  these  or  simi- 
lar sentences:  "I  am  going  to  die,  I  am  about  to  suffer;  but 
I  will  bear  the  severest  tortures  my  enemies  can  inflict,  with 
becoming  fortitude.  I  will  die  like  a  brave  man;  and  I 
shall  then  go  to  join  the  chiefs  who  have  suffered  on  the 
same  account."  These  songs  are  continued  with  necessary 
intervals,  until  they  reach  the  village  or  camp  to  which  they 
are  going. 

When  the  warriors  are  arrived  within  hearing,  they  set  up 
different  cries,  which  communicate  to  their  friends  a  general 
history  of  the  success  of  the  expedition.  The  number  of 
the  dead-cries  they  give,  declare  how  many  of  their  own 
party  are  lost;  and  the  number  of  war  whoops,  the  number 
of  prisoners  they  have  taken. 

It  is  difficult  to  describe  these  cries;  but  the  best  idea  I 
can  convey  of  them  is,  that  the  former  consists  of  the  sound 
whoo,  whoo,  whoop,  which  is  continued  in  a  long  shrill  tone, 
nearly  till  the  breath  is  exhausted^  and  then  broken  off  with 
a  sudden  elevation  of  the  voice.  The  latter,  is  a  loud  cry, 
of  much  the  same  kind,  which  is  modulated  into  notes  by 
the  hand  being  placed  before  the  mouth.  Both  of  them 
might  be  heard  to  a  very  considerable  distance. 

Whilst  these  are  uttering,  the  persons  to  whom  they  are 

designed  to  convey  the  intelligence,  continue  motionless  and 

all  attention.     When  this  ceremony  is  performed,  the  whole 

village  issue  out  to  learn  the  particulars  of  the  relation  they 



have  just  heard  in  general  terms;  and  accordingly  as  the 
news  proves  mournful  or  the  contrary,  they  answer  by  so 
many  acclamations  or  cries  of  lamentation. 

Being  by  this  time  arrived  at  the  village  or  camp,  the  wo- 
men and  children  arm  themselves  with  sticks,  and  bludgeons, 
and  form  themselves  into  two  ranks,  through  which  the  pris- 
oners are  obliged  to  pass.  The  treatment  they  undergo  be- 
fore they  reach  the  oxtremity  of  the  line  is  very  severe. — 
Sometimes  they  are  so  beaten  over  the  head  and  face,  as  to 
have  scarcely  any  remains  of  life;  and  happy  would  it  be  for 
them  if  by  this  usage  an  end  was  put  to  their  wretched  be- 
ings. But  their  tormentors  take  care  that  none  of  the  blowe 
they  give  prove  mortal,  as  they  wish  to  reserve  the  misera- 
ble sufferers. for  more  severe  inflictions. 

After  having  undergone  this  introductory  discipline,  they 
are  bound  hand  and  foot,  whilst  the  chiefs  hold  a  council  in 
which  their  fate  is  determined.  Those  who  are  decreed  to 
be  put  to  death,  by  the  usual  torments,  are  delivered  to  the 
chief  of  the  warriors;  such  as  are  to  be  spared,  or  given  into 
the  hands  of  the  chief  of  the  nation;  so  that  in  a  short  time 
all  the  prisoners  may  be  assured  of  their  fate,  as  the  sen- 
tence now  pronounced  is  irrevocable.  The  former  they  term 
being  consigned  to  the  house  of  death,  the  latter  to  the  house 
of  grace. 

Such  captives  as  are  pretty  far  advanced  in  life,  and  have 
acquired  great  honour  by  their  warlike  deeds,  always  atone 
for  the  blood  they  have  spilt,  by  the  tortures  of  fire*  Their 
success  in  war  is  readily  known  by  the  blue  marks  upon 
their  breasts  and  arms,  which  are  legible  to  the  Indians  as 
letters  to  Americans. 

The  manner  in  which  these  hieroglyphics  are  made,  is 
by.  breaking  the  skin  with  the  teeth  of  fish,  or  sharpened 
flints,  dipped  in  a  kind  of  ink  made  of  the  soot  of  pitch  pine. 
Like  those  of  ancient  Picts  of  Britain,  these  are  esteemed 
ornamental;  and  at  the  same  time  they  serve  as  registers  of 
the  heroic  actions  of  the  warrior,  who  thus  bears  about  him 
indelible  marks  of  his  valour. 

The  prisoners  destined  to  death  are  soon  led  to  the  place 
af  execution,  which  is  generally  in  the  centre  of  the  camp 


or  village;  whore,  being  stript,  and  every  part  of  their  bodies 
blackened,  the  skin 'of  a  crow  or  raven  is  fixed  on  their 
heads.  They  are  then  bound  to  a  stake,  with  faggots  heaped 
around  them,  and  obliged,  for  the  last  time,  to  sing  their 
death  song. 

The  warriors,  for  such  it  is  only  who  commonly  suffer  this 
punishment,  now  perform  in  a  more  prolix  manner  this  sad 
solemnity.  They  recount  with  an  audible  voice  all  the  brave 
actions  they  have  performed,  and  pride  themselves  in  the 
number  of  enemies  they  have  killed.  In  this  rehearsal  they 
spare  not  even  their  tormentors,  but  strive  by  every  provo- 
king tale  they  can  invent,  to  irritate  and  insult  them.  Some- 
times this  has  the  desired  effect,  and  the  sufferers  are  des- 
patched sooner  than  they  otherwise  would  have  been. 

There  are  many  other  methods  which  the  Indians  make 
use  of  to  put  their  prisoners  to  death;  but  these  are  only  oc- 
casional; that  of  burning  is  most  generally  used. 

This  method  of  tormenting  their  enomies  is  considered  by 
the  Indians  as  productive  oflfcore  than  one  beneficial  conse- 
quence. It  satiates,  in  a  greater  degree,  that  diabolical 
Just  of  revenge,  which  is  the  predominant  passion  in  the 
breast  of  e/ery  individual  of  every  tribe;  and  it  gives  the 
growing  warriors  an  early  propensity  to  that  cruelty  and 
thirst  of  blood,  which  is  so  necessary  a  qualification  for  such 
as  would  be  thoroughly  skilled  in  their  savage  art  of  war. 

Notwithstanding  these  acts  of  severity  exercised  by  the 
Indians  towards  those  of  their  own  species,  who  fall  into 
their  hands,  some  tribes  of  them  have  been  very  remarkable 
for  their  moderation  to  such  female  prisoners,  belonging  to 
the  English  colonies,  as  have  happened  to  be  taken  by  them. 
Women  of  great  beauty  have  frequently  been  carried  off  by 
them,  and  during  a  march  of  three  or  four  hundred  miles, 
through  their  retired  forests  have  lain  by  their  sides  without 
receiving  any  insult,  and  their  chastity  has  remained  invio- 
late. Instances  have  happened,  where  female  captives,  who 
have  been  pregnant  at  the  time  of  their  being  taken,  have 
found  the  pangs  of  child-birth  come  upon  them  in  the  midst 
of  solitary  woods,  and  savages  their  only  companions;  yet 
from  these  savages  as  they  were,  have  they  received  every 


assistance  their  situations  would  admit  of,  and  been  treated 
with  a  degree  of  delicacy  and  humanity  they  little  expected. 

Those  prisoners  that  are  consigned  to  the  house  of  grace, 
and  these  are  commonly  the  young  men,  women,  and  chil- 
dren, await  the  disposal  of  the  chiefs,  who  after  the  execu- 
tion of  such  as  are  condemned  to  die,  hold  a  council  for  this 

A  herald  is  sent  round  the  village  or  camp,  to  give  notice 
that  such  as  have  lost  any  relative  in  the  late  expedition, 
are  desired  to  attend  the  distribution,  which  is  about  to  take 
place.  Those  women  who  have  lost  their  sons  or  husbands, 
are  generally  satisfied  in  the  first  place;  after  these,  such  as 
have  been  deprived  of  friends  of  a  more  remote  degree  of  con- 
sanguinity, or  who  choose  to  adopt  some  of  the  youth. 

The  division  being  made,  which  is  done,  as  in  other  ca- 
ses, without  the  least  dispute,  those  who  have  received  any 
share,  lead  them  to  their  tents  or  huts;  and  having  unbound 
them,  wash  and  dress  their  wounds,  if  they  happen  to  have 
any;  they  then  clothe  them,  and  give  the  most  comfortable 
and  refreshing  food  their  store  will  afford . 

Whilst  their  new  domestics  are  feeding,  they  endeavor  to 
administer  consolation  to  them;  they  tell  them  that  as  they 
are  redeemed  from  death,  they  must  now  be  cheerful  and  hap- 
py; and  if  they  serve  them  well  without  murmuring  or  re- 
pining, nothing  shall  be  wanting  to  make  them  such  atone- 
ment for  the  loss  of  their  country  and  friends,  as  circumstan- 
ces will  allow. 

If  any  men  are  spared,  they  are  coaimonly  given  to  the 
widows  that  have  lost  their  husbands  by  the  hands  of  the  en- 
emy, should  there  be  any  such,  to  whom,  if  they  happen  to 
prove  agreeable,  they  are  soon  married.  But  should  the 
dame  be  otherwise  engaged,  the  life  of  hiai  who  falls  to  her 
lot  is  in  great  danger;  especially  if  she  fancies  that  her  late 
husband  wants  a  slave  in  the  country  of  spirits,  to  which  he 
is  gone . 

When  this  is  the  case,  a  numbar  of  young  men  take  the 
devoted  captive  to  some  distance,  and  despatch  him  without 
any  ceremony:  after  he  has  been  spared  by  the  council,  they 


consider  him  of  too  little  consequence  to  be  entitled  to  the 
torments  of  those  who  have  been  judged  worthy  of  them. 

The  women  are  usually  distributed  to  the  men,  from  whom 
they  do  not  fail  of  meeting  with  a  favorable  reception.  The 
boys  and  girls  are  taken  into  the  families  of  such  as  have 
need  of  them,  and  are  considered  as  slaves;  and  it  is  not  un- 
common that  they  are  sold  in  the  same  capacity  to  the  Amer- 
ican traders  who  come  among  them. 

The  Indians  have  no  idea  of  moderating  the  ravages  of 
war,  by  sparing  their  prisoners,  and  entering  into  a  negoci- 
ation  with  the  band  from  whom  they  have  been  taken  for  an 
exchange.  All  that  are  captivated  by  both  parties,  are  eith- 
er put  to  death,  adopted  or  made  slaves  of.  And  so  partic- 
ular is  every  nation  in  this  respect,  that  if  any  tribe,  even  a 
warrior,  should  be  taken  prisoner,  and  by  chance  be  received 
into  the  house  of  grace,  either  as  an  adopted  person  or  a 
slave,  and  should  afterwards  make  his  escape,  they  will  by 
no  means  receive  him,  or  acknowledge  him  as  one  of  their 

The  condition  of  such  as  are  adopted,  differs  not  in  any 
one  instance  from  the  children  of  the  nation  to  which  they 
belong.  They  assume  all  the  rights  of  those  whose  places 
they  supply,  and  frequently  make  no  difficulty  in  going  in  the 
war  parties  against  their  own  countrymen.  Should  howev- 
er, any  of  those  by  chance  make  their  escape,  and  be  after- 
wards retaken,  they  are  esteemed  as  unnatural  children,  and 
ungrateful  persons,  who  have  daserted  and  made  war  upon 
their  parents  and  benefactors,  and  are  treated  with  uncpm* 
mon  severity. 

That  part  of  their  prisoners  which  are  considered  as  slaves, 
are  generally  distributed  among  the  chiefs;  who  frequently 
make  presents  of  some  of  them  to  the  American  governors 
of  the  out-posts  or  to  the  superintendants  of  Indian  affairs. 
I  have  been  informed  that  it  was  the  Jesuits  and  French  mis- 
sionaries that  first  occasioned  the  introduction  of  these  un- 
happy captives  into  the  settlements,  and  by  so  doing  taught 
the  Indians  that  they  were  valuable. 

Their  views  indeed  were  laudable,  as  they  imagined  that 
by  this  method  they  should  not  only  prevent  much  barbarity 


and  bloodshed,  but  find  the  opportunities  much  increased  of 
spreading  their  religion  among  them.  To  this  purpose  they 
have  encouraged  the  traders  to  purchase  such  slaves  as  they 
met  with. 

The  good  effects  of  this  mode  of  proceeding,  were  not 
however  equal  to  the  expectations  of  these  pious  fathers. — 
Instead  of  being  the  means  of  preventing  cruelty  and  blood- 
shed, it  only  caused  dissentions  between  the  Indian  nations 
to  be  carried  on  with  a  greater  degree  of  violence  and  with 
unremitted  ardcrar.  The  prize  they  fought  for  being  no  lon- 
ger revenge  or  fame,  but  the  acquirement  of 'spirituous  li- 
quors, for  which  their  cuptive  were  to  be  exchanged,  and  of 
which  almost  every  nation  is  immoderately  fond,  they  sought 
for  their  enemies  with  unwanted  alacrity,  and  were  constant- 
ly on  the  watch  to  surprise  and  carry  them  off. 

It  might  still  be  said  that  fewer  of  the  captives  are  tor- 
mented and  put  to  death,  since  these  expectations  of  receiv- 
ing so  valuable  a  consideration  for  them  have  been  excited 
than  there  usually  had  been;  but  it  does  not  appear  that  their 
accustomed  'cruelty  to  the  warriors  they  take,  is  in  the  least 
abated:  their  natural  desire  of  vengeance  must  be  gratified; 
they  now  only  become  more  assidious  in  securing  a  greater 
number  of  young  prisoners  whilst  those  who  are  made  cap- 
tive ic  their  defence  are  tormented  and  put  to  death  as  be- 

And  this,  even  in  despite  of  the  disgraceful  estimation;  for 
the  Indians  consider  every  conquered  people  as  in  a  state  of 
vassalage  to  their  conquerors.     After  one  nation  has  finally 
subdued  another,  and  a  conditional  submission  is  agreed  onr 
it  is  customary  for  the  chiefs  of  the  conquered,  when  they  sit 
in  council  with  their  subduers,  to  wear  petticoats  as  an  ac- 
knowledgement that  they  are  in  a   state  of  subjection  and 
ought  to  be  ranked  among  the  women.     Their  partiality  of 
the  French  has  however  taken  too  deep  root  for  time  itself  to 
eradicate  it. 

The  wars  that  are  carried,  on  between  the  Indian  nation 
are  in  general  hereditary,  and  continue  from  age  to  ^ge  with 
a  few  interruptions.  If  a  peace  becomes  necessary,  tfce  prin- 


pal  care  of  both  parties  is  to  avoid  the  appearance  of  making 
the  first  advances. 

When  they  treat  with  an  enemy  relative  to  a  suspension 
of  hostilities,  the  chief  who  is  commissioned  to  undertake  the 
negociation,  if  it  is  not  brought  about  by  the  meditation  of 
some  neighbouring  band,  abates  nothing  of  his  natural  haugh- 
tiness, even  when  the  affairs  of  his  country  are  in  the  worst 
situation,  he  makes  no  concessions,  but  endeavors  to  persuade 
his  advessaries  that  it  is  their  interest  to  put  an  end  to  the 



End  of  War — Pipe  of  peace — Mode  of  presenting  it — 
rying  the  War  Club  or  Hatchet — Belt  of  Wampum — Of 
what  made  &LC. 

Accidents  sometimes  contribute  to  bring  about  a  peace  be- 
tween nations  that  otherwise  could  not  be  prevailed  on  to  lis- 
ten to  terms  of  accommodation. 

Sometimes  the  Indians  grow  tired  of  a  war,  which  they 
have  carried  on  against  some  neighboring  nation  for  many 
years  without  much  success,  and  in  this  case  they  seek  for 
meditators  to  begin  a  negotiation.  These  being  obtained, 
the  treaty  is  thus  conducted: 

A  number  of  their  own  chiefs,  joined  by  those  who  have 
accepted  the  friendly  office,  set  out  together  for  their  enemies 
country;  such  as  are  chosen  for  this  purpose,  are  chiefs  of  the 
most  extensive  abilities,  and  of  the  greatest  integrity. — 
They  bear  before  them  the  Pipe  of  peace,  which  I  need  not 
inform  my  readers  is  of  the  same  nature  as  a  flag  of  truce 
among  the  Americans,,  and  is  treated  with  the  greatest  res- 
pect and  veneration,  even  by  the  most  barbarous  nations.  I 
never  heard  of  an  instance  wherein  the  bearers  of  this  sa- 
cred badge  of  friendship  were  ever  treated  disrespectfully, 
or  its  rights  violated.  The  Indians  believe  that  the  Great 
Spirit  never  suffers  an  infraction  of  this  kind  to  go  unpun 

The  Pipe  of  peace,  which  is  termed  by  them  the  Calmet, 
for  what  reason  I  could  never  learn,  is  about  four  feet  long. 

90  *  JOURNAL  OF 

The  bowl  of  it  is  made  of  red  m ruble,  and  the  stem  of  it  of 
a  light  wood,  curiously  painted  with  hieroglyphies  in  various 
colours,  and  odorned  with  feathers,  of  the  most  beoutiful  birds; 
but  it  is  not  in  my  power  to  convey  an  idea  of  the  various 
tints  and  pleasing  ornaments  of  this  much  esteemed  Indian 

Every  nation  has  a  different  method  of  decorating  these 
pipes;  and  they  ca.n  tell  at  first  sight  .to  what  band  it  belongs. 
It  is  used  as  an  introduction  to  all  treaties. 

The  assistant  or  aid-de-camp  of  the  great  warrior,  when 
the  chiefs  are  assembled  and  seated,  fills  it  with  tobacco  mix- 
ed ^.with  herbs,  taking  care  at  the  same  time  that  no  part  of 
it  touches  the  ground.  When  it  is  filled,  he  takes  a  coal 
that  is  thoroughly  kindled,  from  a  fire  that  is  generally  kept 
burning  in  the  midst  of  the  assembly,  and  places  it  on  the 

As  soon  as  it  is  sufficiently  lighted,  he  throws  off  the  coal. 
He  then  turns  the  stem  of  it  towards  the  heavens,  after  this 
towards  the  earth,  and  now  holding  it  horizontally,  moves 
himself  round  till  he  has  completed  a  circle;  by  the  first  ac- 
tion he  is  supposed  to  present  it  to  the  Great  Spirit,  whose 
aid  is  thereby  supplicated;  by  the  second  to  avert  any  mali- 
cious interposition  of  the  evil  spirits:  and  by  the  third  to 
gain  the  protection  of  the  spirits  inhabiting  the  air,  the  earth, 
and  the  waters.  Having  thus  secured  the  favor  of  these  in- 
visible agents,  in  whose  power  they  suppose  it  is  either  to 
forward  or  obstruct  the  issue  of  their  present  deliberations, 
he  presents  it  to  the  hereditary  chief,  who  having  taken  two 
or  three  whiffs,  blows  the  smoke  from  his  mouth,  first  to- 
wards heaven,  and  then  around  him  upon  the  ground. 

It  is  afterwards  put  in  the  same  manner  into  the  mouths 
of  the  ambassadors  or  strangers,  who  observe  the  same  cer- 
emony, then  to  the  chief  of  the  warriors,  and  to  all  the  oth- 
er chiefs  in  turn,  according  to  their  gradation.  During  this 
time  the  person  who  executes  this  honorable  office  holds  the 
pipe  slightly  in  his  hand,  as  if  he  feared  to  press  the  sacred 
instrument;  nor  does  any  one  presume  to  touch  it  but  with 
his  lips. 

When  the  chiefs  who  are  instructed  with  the  commission 


for  making  peace,  approach  the  town  or  camp  to  which  they 
are  going,  they  begin  to  sing  and  dance  the  songs  and  dan- 
ces appropriated  to  this  occasion.  By  this  time  the  adverse 
party  are  apprised  of  their  arrival,  and,  at  the  sight  of  the 
pipe  of  peace  divesting  themselves  of  their  wonted  enmity, 
invite  them  to  the  habitations  of  the  Great  Chief,  and  fur- 
nish them  with  every  conveniency  during  the  negotiation. 

A  council  is  then  held;  and  when  the  speeches  and  debates 
are  ended,  if  no  obstructions  arise  to  put  a  stop  to  the  trea- 
ty, the  painted  hatchet  is  buried  in  the  ground,  as  a  memo- 
rial that  all  animosities  between  the  contending  nations  have 
ceased,  and  a  peace  taken  place.  Among  the  ruder  bands, 
such  as  have  no  communication  with  the  Americans,  a  war- 
club,  painted  red,  is  buried,  instead  of  the  hatchet. 

A  belt  of  wampum  is  also  given  on  this  occasion,  which 
serves  as  a  ratification  of  the  peace,  and  records  to  the  latest 
posterity,  by  the  hieroglyphics  into  which  the  beds  are  form- 
ed, every  stipulated  article  in  the  treaty. 

These  belts  are  made  of  shells  found  on  the  coasts  of  New 
England  and  Virginia,  which  are  sawed  out  into  beads  of  an 
oblong  form,  about  a  quarter  of  an  inch  long,  and  round  like 
other  beads.  Being  strung  on  leather  strings,  and  several  of 
them  sewed  neatly  together  with  fine  sinewy  threads,  they 
then  compose  what  is  termed  a  belt  of  wampum. 

The  shells  are  generally  of  two  colors,  some  white  and 
others  violet;  but  the  latter  are  more  highly  esteemed  than 
the  former. 

They  are  held  in  .as  much  estimation  by  the  Indians,  as 
gold,  or  silver,  or  precious  stones  are  by  the  Americans. 

The  belts  are  composed  of  ten,  twelve,  or  a  greater  num- 
ber of  strings,  according  to  the  importance  of  the  affair  in 
agitation,  or  the  dignity  of  the  person  to  whom  it  is  present- 
ed. On  more  trifling  occasions,  strings  of  these  beads  are 
presented  by  the  chiefs  to  each  other,  and  frequently  worn  by 
them  about  their  necks  as  a  valuable  ornament. 



Poligamy — Treatment  to  Wives — Marriage  Ceremonies — 
JWode  of  Divorceing — another  Ceremony — Children  called 
by  the  J^iGther^x  name  &c. 

The  Indians  allow  of  polygamy;  and  persons  of  every  rank 
indulge  themselves  in  this  point.  The  chiefs  in  particular 
have  a  seraglio,  which  consists  of  an  uncertain  number,  usu- 
ally from  six  to  twelve  or  fourteen.  The  lower  rank  are  per- 
mitted to  take  as  many  as  there  is  a  probability  of  their  be- 
ing able,  with  the  children  they  may  bear,  to  maintain.  It 
is*not  uncommon  for  an  Indian  to  marry  two  sisters;  some- 
times, if  there  happen  to  be  more,  the  whole  number;  and 
notwithstanding  this  (as  it  appears  to- civilized  nations)  un- 
natural union,  they  -all  live  in  the  greatest  harmony. 

The  younger  wives  are  submissive  to  the  elder:  and  those 
who  have  no  children,  do  such  menial  offices  for  those  who 
are  fertile,  as  causes  their  situation  to  differ  but  little  from  a 
state  of  servitude.  However,  they  perform  every  injunction 
with  the  greatest  cheerfulness,  in  hopes  of  gaining  thereby 
the  affections  of  their  husbands,  that  they  in  their  turn  may 
have  the  happiness  of  becoming  mothers,  and  be  entitled  to 
the  respect  attendant  on  that  state. 

It  is  not  uncommon  for  an  Indian,  although  he  takes  to 
himself  so  many  wives,  to  live  in  a  state  of  continence  with 
many  of  them  for  several  years.  Such  as  are  not  so  fortu- 
nate as  to  gain  the  favor  of  their  husband,  by  their  submis- 
sive and  prudent  behaviour,  and  by  that  means  to  share  in  his 
embraces;  continue  in  their  virgin  state  during  the  whole  of 
their  lives,  except  they  happen  to  be  presented  by  him  to 
some  stranger  chief,  whose  abode  among  them  will  not  admit 
of  his  entering  into  a  more  lasting  connexion.  In  this  case 
they  submit  to  the  injunction  of  their  husband  without  mur- 
muring, and  are  not  displeased  at  the  temporary  union.  But 
if  at  any  time  it  is  known  that  they  take  this  liberty  witkout 
first  receiving  his  consent,  they  are  punished  in  the  same 
manner  as  if  they  had  been  guilty  of  adultery. 

This  custom  is  more  prevalent  among  the  nations,  which 
lie  in  the  interior  parts,  than  among  those  that  are  nearer  the 


•settlements,  as  the  manners  of  the  latter  are  rendered  more 
conformable,  in  some  points  to  those  of  the  Americans,  by 
the  intercourse  they  hold  with  them. 

The  Indian  nations  differ  but  little  from  each  other  in  their 
marriage  ceremonies,  and  less  in  the  manners  of  their  divor- 
ces. The  tribes  that  inhabit  the  borders  of  Canada,  make 
•use  of  the  follow  ing  custom. 

When  a  young  Indian  has  fixed  his  inclinations  on  one  of 
the  other  sex,  he  endeavors  to  gain  her  consent;  and  if  ho 
succeeds,  it  is  never  known  that  her  parents  ever  obstruct 
their  union.  When  every  preliminary  is  agreed  on,  and  the 
day  appointed,  the  friends  and  acquantances  of  both  parties 
assemble  at  the  house  or  tent  of  the  oldest  relation  of  the 
bridegroom,  where  a  feast  is  prepared  on  the  occasion. 

The  company  who  meet  to  assist  at  the  festival  are  some- 
times very  numerous:  they  dance,  they  sing,  and  enter  into 
every  other  diversion  usually  made  USG  of  on  many  of  their 
public  rejoicings. 

When  these  are  finised,  all  those  who  attended  merely  out 
of  ceremony,  depart,  and  the  bridegroom,  and  bride  are  left 
alone  with  three  or  four  of  the  nearest  and  oldest  relations  of 
either  side;  those  of  the  bridegroom  being  men,  and  those  of 
the  bride,  women. 

Presently  the  bride  attended  by  these  few  friends,  having 
withdrawn  herself  for  the  purpose,  appears  atone  of  the  doors 
of  the  house,  and  is  led  to  the  bridegroom,  who  stands  rea- 
dy to  receive  her.  Having  now  taken  their  station,  on  a  mat 
placed  in  the  centre  of  the  room,  they  lay  hold  of  the  extrem- 
ities of  a  wand,  about  four  feet  long,  by  which  they  continue 
seperated,  whilst  the  old  men  pronounces  some  short  ha- 
rangues suitable  to  the  occasion. 

The  married  couple  then  make  a  public  declaration  of  tho 
love  and  regard  they  entertain  for  each  other,  and  holding 
the  rod  between  them,  dance,  and  sing.  When  they  have 
finished  this  part  of  the  ceremony,  they  break  the  rod  into  as 
many  pieces  as  there  are  witnesses  present,  who  each  take  a 
piece  and  presci  vj  i:  with  care. 

The  .  >nducted  out  of  the  door  at  which  she 

js  wait  to  attend  he*  to 


her  father's  house;  there  the  bridegroom  is  obliged  to  seek 
her,  and  the  marriage  is  consummated.  Very  often  the  wife 
remains  at  her  father's  house  till  she  has  a  child,  when  she 
packs  up  her  apparel,  which  is  all  the  fortune  she  is  general- 
ly possessed  of,  and  accompanies  her  husband  to  his  habita- 

When  from  any  dislike  a  separation  takes  place,  for  they 
are  seldom  known  to  quarrel,  they  generally  give  their  friends 
a  few  days  notice  of  their  intentions,  and  sometimes  offer 
reasons  to  justify  their  conduct.  The  witnesses,  who  were 
present  at  the  marriage,  meet  on  the  day  requested,  at  the 
house  of  the  couple  that  are  about  to  separate,  and  bringing 
with  them  the  pieces  of  rod  which  they  had  received  at  their 
nuptials,  throw  them  into  the  fire  in  the  presence  of  all  the 

This  is  the  whole  of  the  ceremony  required,  and  the  separ- 
ation is  carried  on  without  any  murmurings,  or  ill  will  be- 
tween the  couple  or  the  relations;  and  after  a  few  months 
they  are  at  liberty  to  marry  again. 

When  a  marriage  is  thus  dissolved,  the  children  which 
have  been  produced  from  it,  are  equally  divided  between 
them;  and  as  children  are  esteemed  a  treasure  by  the  Indi- 
ans, if  the  number  happens  to  be  odd,  the  woman  is  allowed 
to  take  the  better  half. 

Though  this  custom  seems  to  encourage  fickleness  and  fre- 
quent separations,  yet  there  are  many  of  the  Indians,  who 
have  but  one  wife,  and  enjoy  with  her  a  state  of  connubial 
happiness,  not  to  be  exceeded  in  more  refined  societies. 
There  are  also,  not  a  few  instances  of  women  preserving  an 
inviolable  attachments  to  their  husbands,  except  in  the  cases 
before  mentioned,  which  are  considered  as  either  a  violation 
•of  their  chastity  or  fidelity. 

Although  I  have  said  that  the  Indian  nations  differ  very  lit- 
tle from  each  other  in  their  marriage  ceremonies,  there  are 
some  exceptions.  The  Naudowessies  have  a  singular  meth- 
od of  celebrating  their  marriages;  which  seems  to  bear  no 
resemblance  to  those  made  use  of  by  any  other  nation  I  pas- 
sed through.  When  one  of  their  young  men  has  fixed  on  a 
young  woman  lie  approves  of\he  discovers  his  passion  to  her 


parents,  who  give  him  an  invitation  to  come  and  live  with 
them  in  their  tent. 

He  accordingly  accepts  the  offer,  and  by  so  doing  engages 
to  reside  in  it  for  a  whole  year,  in  the  character  of  a  menial 
servant.  During  this  time  he  hunts,  and  brings  all  the  game 
he  kills  to  the  family;  by  which  means  the  father  has  an  op- 
portunity of  seeing  whether  he  is  able  to  provide  for  the  sup- 
port of  his  daughter  and  the  children  that  might  be  the  con- 
sequence of  their  union.  This  however  is  only  done  whilst 
they  are  young  men  and  for  their  first  wife,  and  not  repeated 
like  Jacob's  servitude. 

When  this  period  is  expired,  the  marriage  is  solemnized 
after  the  custom  of  the  country,  in  the  following  manner: 
three  or  four  of  the  oldest  male  relations  of  the  bridegroom, 
and  as  many  of  the  bride's,  accompany  the  young  couple 
from  their  respective  tents,  to  an  open  part  in  the  centre  of 
the  camp.  , 

The  chiefs  and  warriors,  being  here  assembled  to  receive 
them,  a  party  of  the  latter  are  drawn  up  in  two  ranks  on  each 
side  of  the  bride  and  bridegroom  immediately  on  their  arrival. 
Their  principal  chief  then  acquaints  the  whole  assembly  with 
the  design  of  their  meeting,  and  tells  them  that  the  couple 
before  them,  mentioning  at  the  same  time  their  names,  are 
come  to  avow  publicly  their  intentions  of  living  together  as 
man  and  wife.  He  then  asks  the  two  young  people  alter- 
nately, whether  they  desire  that  the  union  might  take  place. 
Having  declared  with  an  audible  voice  that  they  do  so,  the 
warriors  fix  their  arrows,  and  discharge  them  over  the  heads 
of  the  married  pair;  this  done,  the  chief  pronounces  them 
man  and  wife. 

The  bridegroom  then  turns  round,  and  bending  his  body, 
takes  his  wife  on  his  back,  in  which  manner  he  carries  her 
amidst  the  acclamations  of  the  spectators  to  his  tent.  The 
ceremony  is  succeeded  by  the  most  plentiful  feast  the  new 
married  man  can  afford:  and  songs  and  dances,  according  to 
the  usual  custom  conclude  the  festival. 

Among  the  Indians,  as  well  as  European  nations,  there 
are  many  that  devote  themselves  to  pleasure,  and  notwith- 
standing the  accounts  given  by  some  modern  writers  of  the 


frigidity  of  an  Indian's  constitution,  become  the  zealous  vota- 
ries of  Venus.  The  young  warriors  that  are  thus  disposed, 
seldom  want  opportunities  for  gratafying  their  passion:  and 
as  the  mode  usually  followed  on  these  occasions  is  rather 
singular,  I  shall  describe  it. 

4 » When  one  of  these  young  debauchees  imagines,  from  the 
behaviour  of  the  person  he  has  chosen  for  his  mistress,  that 
he  shall  not  meet  with  any  great  obstruction  to  his  suit  from 
her,  ho  pursues  the  following  plan. 

"It  has  been  already  observed  that  the  Indians  acknowl- 
edge no  superiority;  nor  have  they  any  ideas  of  subordina- 
tion,  except  in  the  necessary  regulations  of  their  war  or  hun- 
ting parties;  they  consequently  live  nearly  in  a  state  of  equal- 
ity, pursuant  to  the  first  principles  of  nature.  The  lover 
therefore  is  not  apprehensive  of  any  check  or  control  in  the 
accomplishments  of  his  purposes,  if  he  can  find  a  convenient 
opportunity  for  completing  them. 

"As  the  Indians  are  also  under  no  apprehension  of  robbers, 
or  secret  enemies,  they  leave  the  doors  of  their  tents  or  huts 
unfastened  during  the  night,  as  well  as  in  the  day.  Two  or 
three  hours  after  sunset,  the  old  people  cover  over  the  fire, 
that  is  generally  burning  in  the  midst  of  their  apartment, 
with  ashes,  and  retire  to  their  repose. 

*«  Whilst  darkness  thus  prevails,  and  all  is  quiet,  cne  of 
these  sons  of  pleasure,  wrapped  up  closely  in  his  blanket,  to 
prevent  his  being  known,  will  sometimes  enter  the  apart- 
ment of  his  intended  mistress.  Having  first  lighted  at  the 
smothered  fire  a  small  splinter  of  wood,  which  answers  the 
purpose  of  a  match,  he  approaches  the  place  where  she  repo- 
ses, and  gently  pulling  away  the  covering  from  the  head,  jogs 
her  till  she  awakes.  If  she  then  rises  up,  and  blows  out  the 
light,  he  needs  no  further  confirmation  that  his  company  is 
not  disagreeable;  but  if  after  he  has  discovered  himself  she 
hides  her  head,  and  takes  no  notice  of  him,  he  might  rest 
assured  that  any  further  solicitations  will  prove  vain,  and 
that  it  is  necessary  immediately  for  him  to  retire.  During 
his  etay  he  conceals  the  light  as  much  as  possible  in  the  hol- 
low of  his  hands;  and  as  the  tents  or  rooms  of  the  Indians 
are  usually  large  and  capacious,  he  escapes  without  detec- 


tion.  It  is  said  that  the  young  women  who  admit  their  lov- 
era  en  these  occasions,  take  groat  care,  by  an  immediate  ap- 
plication to  herbs,  \vitii  the  potent  efficacy  of  which  they  are 
well  acquainted,  to  prevent  the  affects  of  these  illicit  amours 
from  becoming  visible;  for  should  the  natural  consequences 
ensue,  they  must  forever  remain  unmarried." 

The  children  or"  the  Indians  are  always  distinguished  by 
the  name  of  the  mother;  and  if  a  woman  marries  several  hus- 
bands, and  has  issue  by  each  of  them,  they  are  called  after 
her.  The  reason  they  give  for  this  is,  tint  as  their  offspring 
are  indebted  to  the  father  for  their  souls, the  invisible  part  of 
their  essence,  and  to  the  mother  for  treir  corporeal  and  ap- 
parent part,  it  is  more  rational  that  they  should  be  distin- 
guished by  the  name  of  the  latter,  from  whom  tl^ey  indubi- 
tably derive  their  being,  than  by  that  of  the  father,  to  which 
a  doubt  might  sometimes  arise  whether  they  are  justly  entitled. 

There  are  some  ceremonies  made  use  of  by  the  Indians  at 
the  opposition  of  the  name,  and  it  is  considered  by  them  as  a 
matter  of  great  importance  but  what  these  are  I  could  never 
learn,  through  the  secrecy  observed  on  the  occasion.  I  only 
know  that  it  is  usually  givori  when  the  children  have  passed 
the  state  of  infancy. 

Nothing  can  exceed  the  tenderness  shown  by  them  to 
their  offspring;  and  a  person  cannot  recommend  himself  to 
their  favour  by  any  method  more  certain,  than  by  paying 
some  attention  to  the  younger  branches  of  their  families. 

There  is  some  difficulty  attends  an  explanation  of  the  man- 
ner in  which  the  Indians  distinguish  themselves  from  each 
other.  Besides  the  name  of  the  animal  by  which  evey  nation 
and  tribe  is  denominated  there  are  others  that  are  personal, 
and  which  the  children  receive  from  their  mother. 

The  chiefs  are  also  distinguished  by  a  name  that  has  either 
•some  reference  to  their  abilities,  or  to  the  hieroglyphic  of 
their  families;  and  these  are  acquired  after  they  arrive  at  the 
age  of  manhood.  Such  as  have  signalized  themselves  cither 
in  their  war  or  hunting  parties,  oi  are  possessed  of  some 
eminent  qualifications  receive  a  name  that  serves  to  perpetu- 
ate the  fame  of  these  actions,  or  to  make  their  abilities  con- 




Great  Spirit — Good  Spirits  of  a  lesser  degree — Ideas  of  a 
falure  Stale — Priests — Superstition — Religion — Anecdote 
— Fearless  of  death — Dying  speech — Character  of  the 
Indians  -Love  nf  Country — Sons  of  honor  &c. 

It  is  certain  the  Indian,!  acknowledge  one  Supreme  Being, 
or  Giver  of  Life,  who  presides  over  all  thiags,  That  is,  the 
Great  Spirit;  and  they  look  up  to  him  as  the  source  of  good, 
from  whom  no  evil  can  proceed.  They  also  believe  in  a  bad 
spirit,  to  whom  they  ascribe  great  power,  and  suppcso  that 
through  his  means  all  the  evils  which  befal  mankind  are  in- 
flicted. To  him  therefore  do  they  pray  in  their  distresses, 
begg ing  that  he  would  either  avert  their  troubles^or  moder- 
ate them  when  they  fire  no  longer  avoidable. 

They  say  that  the  Great  Spirit,  who  is  infinitely  good, 
neither  wishes  nor  is  able  to  do  any  mischief  to  mankind; 
but  on  the  contrary,  that  he  showers  down  on  them  all  the 
blessings  they  deserve;  whereas  the  evil  spirit  is  continually 
employed  in  contriving  how  he  may  punish  the  human  race; 
and  to  do  which  he  is  not  only  possessed  of  the  will,  but  of 
the  power. 

They  hold  also  that  there  *are  good  spirits  of  a  lesser  de- 
gree, who  have  their  particular  departments,  in  which  they 
aro  constantly  contributing  to  the  happiness  of  mortals. — 
These  they  suppose  to  preside  over  all  the  extraordinary 
productions  of  nature,  such  as  those  lakes,  rivers,  or  moun- 
tains that  are  of  an  uncommon  magnitude;  and  likewise  the 
beasts,  birds,  fishes,  and  even  vegetables,  or  stones  that  ex- 
ceed the  rest  of  their  species  in  size  or  singularity.  To  all 
of  these  they  pay  some  kind  of  adoration. 

But  at  the  same  time  I  fancy  thai  the  ideas  they  annex  to 
the  word  spirit,  are  very  different  from  the  conceptions  more 
enlightened  nations  entertain  of  it.  They  appear  to  fashion 
to  themselves  corporeal  representations  of  their  gods,  and 
believe  them  to  be  of  a  human  form,  though  of  a  nature 
more  excellent  than  man. 

Of  the  same  kind  are  their  sentiments  relative  to  futuri- 
ty. TJaey  doubt  not  but  they  shall  exist  ia  some  future 


state;  they  however  fancy  that  their  employments  there  will 
be  somewhat  similar  to  those  they  are  engaged  in  here,  with- 
out the  labour  and  difficulties  annexed  to  them  in  this  period 
of  their  existence. 

They  consequently  expect  to  03  translated  to  a  delightful 
country,  where  they  shall  always  have  a  clear,  unclouded 
sky,  and  enjoy  a  perpetual  spring;  where  the  forests  will 
abound  with  game,  and  the  lakes  with  fish,  which  mi^ht  be 
taken  without  a  painful  exertion  of  skill,  or  a  laborious  pur- 
suit; in  short  that  they  shall  live  forever  in  regions  of  plenty, 
and  enjoy  every  gratification  they  delight  in  here,  in  a  grea- 
ter degree. 

To  intellectual  pleasures  they  are  strangers;  nor  are[those 
included  in  their  scheme  of  happiness.  But  they  expect  tha', 
even  these  animal  pleasures  will  be  proportioned  and  distri- 
buted according  to  their  merit;  the  skillful  hunter,  the  bold 
and  successful  warrior,  \v  ill  be  entitled  to  a  greater  share 
than  those  who  through  indolence  or  want  of  skill  cannot 
boast  of  any  superiority  over  the  common  herd. 

The  Priests  of  the  Indians  are  at  the  same  time  their 
physicians,  and  their  conjurers;  whilst  they  heal  their  wounds, 
or  cure  their  diseases,  they  interpret  dreams,  give  them  pro- 
tective charms,  and  satisfy  that  desire  which  is  so  prevalent 
among  them  of  searching  into  futurity. 

How  wel)  they  execute  the  latter  part  of  their  profession- 
al engagements,  and  the  methods  they  make  use  of  on  some 
of  these  occasions,  I  have  already  shewn  in  the  exertions  of 
the  priest  of  the  Killistinoes,  who  was  fortunate  enough  to 
succeed  in  his  extraordinary  attempt  near  Lake  Superior. — 
They  frequently  are  successful ,  likewise  in  administering  the 
salubrious  herbs  they  have  acquired  a  knowledge  cf;  but  that 
the  ceremonies  they  make  use  of  during  the  administration 
of  them  contributes  to  their  succes,  I  shall  not  take  upon  me 
to  assert. 

When  any  of  the  people  are  ill,  the  person  who  is  inves- 
ted with  this  triple  character  of  doctor,  priest  and  magician, 
Bits  by  the  palient  day  and  night,  rattling  in  his  ears  a  goad 
shell  filled  with  dry  beans,  called  a  Chichicoue,  and  making 
a  disagreeable  noise  that  cannot  b3  well  described. 


This  uncouth  harmony  one  would  imagine  ehould  disturb 
the  sick  person  and  prevent  the  good  effects  of  the  doctor's 
prescription;  but  on  the  contrary  they  believe  that  the  method 
made  use  of,  contributes  to  his  recovery,  by  diverting  from 
his  malignant  purposes  the  evil  spirit  who  has  inflicted  the 
disorder;  or  at  least  that  it  will  take  off  his  attention,  so  that 
he  shall  not  increase  the  malady.  This  they  are  credulous 
enough  to  imagine  he  is  constantly  on  the  watch  to  do,  and 
would  carry  his  inveteracy  to  a  fatal  length  if  they  did  not 
thus  charm  him. 

I  could  not  discover  that  they  make  use  of  any  other  reli- 
gious ceramonies  than  those  I  have  deocribed;  indeed  on  the 
appearance  of  the  new  rnoon  they  dance  and  sing;  but  it  is 
not  evident  that  they  pay  that  planet  any  adoration;  they  on- 
ly seem  to  rejoice  at  the  return  of  a  luminary  that  makes  the 
night  cheerful,  and  which  serves  to  light  them  on  their  way 
when  they  travel  during  the  absence  of  the  sun. 

Notwithstanding.Mr.  Adair  has  asserted  that  the  nations 
among  whom  he  resided,  observe  with  very  little  variation 
all  the  rites  appointed  by  the  Mosaic  Law.  I  own  I  could 
never  discover  among  the  tribes  that  lie  but  a  few  degrees  to 
the  north  west,  the  least  traces  of  the  Jewish  religion,  ex- 
cept it  be  admitted  that  one  particular  female  custom,  and 
their  divisions  into  tribes  carry  with  them  proof  sufficient  to 
establish  this  assertion. 

The  Jesuits  and  French  Missionaries  have  also  pretended, 
that  the  Indians  had,  when  they  first  travelled  into  America, 
some  notions,  though  these  were  dark  and  confused,  of  the 
Christian  institution;  that  they  have  been  greatly  agitated 
at  the  sight  of  a  crosp,  and  given  proofs  by  the  impressions 
made  on  them  that  they  were  not  entirely  unacquainted  with 
tlie  sacred  mysteries  of  Christianity.  I  need  not  say  that 
these  are  two  glaring  absurdities  to  be  credited,  and  could 
only  receive  their  existence  from  the  zeal  of  those  fathers, 
who  endeavored  at  once  to  give  the  public  a  better  opinion  of 
the  success  of  their  missions,  and  support  to  the  cause  they 
were  engaged  in. 

The  Indians  appear  to  be  in  their  religious  principles, 
rude  and  uninstructed.  The  doctrines  they  hold  are  few  and 


simple,  and  such  as  have  been  generally  impressed  on  the 
human  mind,  by  eome  means  or  other,  in  the  most  ignorant 
ages.  They  however  have  not  deviated,  as  many  other  un- 
civilized nations;  and  too  many  civilized  ones  have  done,  into 
idolatrous  modes  of  worship;  they  venerate  indeed  and  make 
offerings  to  the  wonderful  parts  of  the  creation,  as  I  have  be- 
fore observed;  but  whether  these  rights  are  performed  on  ac- 
count of  the  impressions  such  extraordinary  appearances 
make  on  them,  or  whether  they  consider  them  as  the  pecu- 
liar charge,  or  the  usual  place  of  residence  of  the  invisible 
spirits  they  acknowledge,!  cannot  possitively  determine. 

The  human  mind  in  its  uncultivated  state  is  apt  to  ascribe 
the  extraordinary  occurrences  of  nature,  such  as  earthquakes, 
thunder,  or  hurricanes,  to  the  interposition  of  unseen  beings; 
the  troubles  and  disasters  also  that  a  reannexed  to  a  savage  life; 
the  apprehensions,  attendant  on  the  precarious  subsistence, 
and  those  numberless  inconveniences  which  man  in  his  im- 
proved state  has  found  means  to  remedy,  are  supposed  to  pro- 
ceed from  the  interposition  of  evil  spirits;  the  savage,  conse- 
quently, lives  in  continual  apprehensions  of  their  unkind  at- 
tacks, and  to  avert  them  has  recourse  to  charms,  to  the  fan- 
tastic ceremonies  of  his  priest,  or  the  powerful  influence  of 
his  Manitous.  Fear  has  of  course  a  greater  share  in  his  de- 
votions than  gratitude,  and  he  pays  more  attention  to  depre- 
cating the  wrath  of  the  evil,  than  to  securing  the  favour  of 
the  good  beings. 

The  Indians,  however,  entertain  these  absurdities  in  com- 
mon with  those  of  every  part  of  the  globe  who  have  not  been 
illuminated  with  tbat  religion,  which  can  only  disperse  the 
clouds  of  superstition  and  ignorance,  and  they  are  as  free 
from  error  as  people  can  be,  that  have  not  been  fovoured  with 
its  instructive  doctrines. 

In  PenobscoU  a  settlement  in  the  province  of  Maine,  in 
the  north  east  parts  of  New  England,  the  wife  of  a  soldier 
was  taken  in  labour,  and  notwithstanding  every  necessary  as- 
sistance was  given  her,  could  not  be  delivered.  IK  this  (situ- 
ation she  remained  for  two  or  three  days,  the  persons  around 
her  expecting  that  the  next  pang  would  put  an  end  to  her  ex- 


An  Indian  \vornan, '-  ^:1   by,  heard  the 

groans  of  the  unhappy  sufferer,  and  enquired  from  whence 
they  proceeded.  lieing  made  acquainted  with  the  desper- 
ate circumstance-attending1  the  case,  she  told  the  informant 
that  if  she  might  he  permitted  to  Fee  the  person,  she  did  not 
doubt  but  that  she  should  be  of  great  service  to  her. 

The  surgeon  tint  had  attended,  and  the  midwife  who  was 
then  present,  having  given  up  every  hope  of  preserving1  iheir 
patient,  the  Indian  woman  was  allowed  to  make  use  of  any 
methods  she  thought  proper.  She  accordingly  took  a  hand- 
kerchief, and  bond  it,  tight  aver  the  nose  and  mouth  of  the  wo- 
man; this  immediately  brought  on  suffocation;  and  from  the 
struggles  that  consequently  ensjcd  she  was  in  a  few  seconds 
.delivered.  The  moment  this  was  achieved,  and  time  enough 
to  prevent  any  fatal  effect,  the  handkerchief  was  taken  off. — 
The  long  suffering  patient  thus  happily  relieved  from  her 
pains,  soon  after  perfectly  recovered,  to  the  astonishment  of 
those  who  had  been  witnesses  to  the  desperate  situation. 

The  reason  given  by  the  Indian  for  this  hazardous  method 
of  proceeding,  was,  that  desperate  disorders  require  desper- 
ate remedies;  that  as  she  observed  the  exertions  of  nature 
were  not  sufficiently  forcible  to  effect  the  desired  conse- 
quence, she  thought  it  necessary  to  augment  their  force  which 
could  only  be  done  by  some  mode  that  was  violent  in  the  ex- 

An  Indian  meets  death  when  it  approaches  him  in  his  hut 
with  the  same  resolution  he  has  often  faced  hi  Ji  in  the  field. 
His  indifference  relative  to  this  important  article  which  is 
the  source  of  so  many  apprehensions  to  almost  every  other 
nation  is  truly  admirable.  When  his  fate  is  pronounced  by 
the  physician  and  it  remains  no  longer  uncertain,  he  haran- 
gues those  about  him  with  the  greatest  composure. 

If  he  be  a  chief  and  has  a  family,  he  makes  a  kind  of  fu- 
neral oration,  which  he  concludes  by  giving  to  his  children 
such  advice  for  the  regulation  of  their  conduct  as  he  thinks 
necessary.  He  then  takes  leave  of  his  friends,  and  issues 
out  orders  for  the  preparation  of  a  feast,  which  is  designed 
to  regale  those  of  his  .tribe  .that  can  come  to  pronounce  his 


The  character  of  the  Indians,  like  that  of  other  uncivili- 
zed nations,  is  composed  ot'  a  mixture  of  ferocity  and  gentle- 
ness. They  are  at  once  guided  by  passions  and  appetites, 
which  they  hold  in  common  with  the  fiercest  beasts  that  in- 
habit the  woods,  and  are  possessed  of  virtues  which  do  hon- 
or to  human  nature. 

In  the  following  estimate  T  shall  endeavor  to  forget,  on  the 
one  hand,  the  prejudices  of  the  Americans,  who  usually  an- 
nex to  the  word  Indian,  epithets  that  are  disgraceful  to  hu- 
man nature,  and  who  vijw  them  as  savages  and  cannibale, 
whilst  with  equal  care  I  avoid  my  partiality  towards  them, 
as  some  must  naturally  arise  from  the  favourable  reception  I 
met  with  during  rny  etay  among  them. 

That  the  Indians  are  of  a  cruel  revengeful,  inexorable  dis- 
position, that  they  will  watch  whole  days  unmindful  of  the 
calls  of  nature,  and  make  their  way  through  pathless,  and 
almost  unbounded  woods,  subsisting  only  on  the  scanty  pro- 
duce of  them,  to  pursue  and  avenge  themselves  of  an  enemy; 
that  they  hear  unmoved  the  piercing  eries  of  such  as  unhappi- 
ly fall  into  their  hands,  and  reeeive  a  diabolical  pleasure  from 
the  tortures  they  inflict  on  their  p"isoners,  I  readily  grant; 
but  let  us  look  on  the  reverse  of  this  terrifying  picture,  and 
we  shall  find  them  temperate  both  in  their  diet  and  pota- 
tions, (it  must  be  remembered  that  I  speak  of  those  tribes, 
who  have  little  or  no  communication  with  Americans)  that 
they  withstand,  with  unexampled  patience,  the  attacks  of 
hunger,  or  the  inclemency  of  the  seasons,  and  esteem  the 
gratification  of  their  appetites  but  as  a  secondary  considera- 

We  shall  likewise  see  them  social  and  humane  to  those 
whom  they  consider  as  their  friends,  and  even  to  their  adop- 
ted enemies;  and  ready  to  partake  with  them  of  the  last  mor- 
sel, or  to  risk  their  lives  in  their  defence. 

In  contradiction  to  the  report  of  many  other  travellers,  all 
of  which  have  been  tinctured  with  prejudice,  I  can  assert, 
that  notwithstanding  the  apparent  indifference  with  which 
an  Indian  meets  his  wife  and  children  after  a  long  abscence, 
an  indifference  proceeding  rather  from  custom  than  insensi- 


bility,  lie  is  not  unmindfil  of  tho  cl'iirrio  eith  •:   of 
or  parental  tenderness. 

Accustomed  from  tlicir  youth  to  innumerable  hardship*, 
they  soon  become  superior  to  a  s°r,sc  of  danger,  or  the  dre-id 
of  death;  and  their  fortitude,  implanted  by  nature,  and  nurtur- 
ed by  example,  by  precept  and  accident,  never  experience 
a  moment's  allay. 

Though  slothful  and  inactive  whilst  their  stores  of  provis- 
ion remain  unexausted,  and  their  foes  are  at  a  distance,  they 
are  indefatigable  and  persevering*  in  pursuit  of  their  ganK-  ,;r 
in  circumventing  their  enemies. 

If  they  are  artful  and  designing,  ^nd  ready  to  tak 
advautage,if  they  are  cool  and  delibeate  in  their  councils?, 
and  cautious  in  the  extreim,  either  of  discovering  thoir  sen- 
timents, or  of  revealing  a  secret,  they  might  at  the  same 
time  boast  of  possessing  qualifications  of  a  more  animated 
nature,  of  the  sagacity  of  hound,  the  penetrating  sight  of  a 
lynx,  the  cunning  of  a  f>x,  the  anility  of  a  bounding  doe, 
and  the  unconaurabla  fierceness  of  tho  tiger. 

In  their  public  characters,  as  forming  part  of  n  communi- 
ty, they  possess  an  attachment  for  that  band  to  which  they 
belong,  unknown  to  the  inhabitants  of  any  other  country. — 
They  combine,  as  if  they  were  actuated  only  by  one  soul 
against  the  ex.ernies  of  their  na;ion,  and  banish  from  their 
minds  every  consideration  opposed  to  this. 

They  consult  without  unnecssary  opposition,  or  without 
giving  way  to  tho  excitements  of  envy  or  ambition,  on  the 
measures  necessary  to  be  pursued  fur  the  destruction  of  those 
who  have  drawn  on  themselves  their  displeasure.  No  sel- 
fish views  ever  influence  their  advice,  or  obstruct  their  con- 
sultation.  Nor  is  it  in  the  power  of  bribes  or  threats  to  di- 
minish the  love  they  bear  their  country. 

The  honor  of  their  tribe,  and  the  wellfare  of  their  nation, 
is  the  firdt  and  most  predominant  emotion  of  their  hearts;  nnd 
from  hence  proceed  in  a  great  measure  all  their  virtues  and 
their  vices.  Actuated  by  this,  they  brave  every  danger,  en- 
(lure  the  most  exquisite  torment?,  and  expire  triumphing  in 
their  fortitude,  not  a  personal  qualification,  but  as  a  nation- 
al characteristic,  i ' 


From  thence  also  flov:s  that  insatiable  revenge  towards 
those  with  whom  they  are  at  war,  and  all  the  consequent  hor- 
rors that  disgrace  their  name.  Their  uncultivated  mind  be- 
ing1 incapable  of  judging  of  the  propriety  of  an  action,  in  op- 
position to  their  passions,  whicti  are  totally  insensible  of  the 
controuls  of  reason  and  humanity,  they  know  not  how  to 
keep  their  fury  within  any  bounds,  and  consequently  that 
courage  and  resolution,  which  would  otherwise  do  them  hon- 
or, degenerates  into  a  savage  ferocity. 

But  this  short  discretion  must  suffice;  the  limits  of  my 
work  will  not  permit  me  to  tre^.t  the  subject  moie  copiously, 
or  to  pursue  it  with  a  logical  regularity.  The  observations 
already  made  by  my  readers  on  proceeding  pace's,  will,  I 
trust  render  it  unnecessary;  as  by  them  they  will  be  enabled 
to  form  a  tolerable  juet  idea  of  the  people  I  have  been  descri- 
bing. Experience  teaches  that  anecdotes,  and  relations  of 
particular  events,  however  trifling  they  might  appear,  ena- 
ble us  to  form  a  truer  judgement  of  tho  manners  and  customs 
of  a  people,  and  are  much  more  declaratory  of  their  real  state, 
than  the  most  studied  and  elaborate  disquisitians  without 
these  aids. 


Ths.  two  subjoined  delineations,  of  the  two  Tribes  of  Indians 
who  inhabit  the  country  on  this  side  of  the  Rocky  mountains, 
is  a  summary ,  from  the  pen  of  Mackenzie. 

THE  Knistenaux  arc  of  a  moderate  stature,  well  propor- 
tioned, and  of  great  activity.  Examples  of  deformity  ?re 
seldom  to  be  seen  among  them.  Their  complexion  is  of  a 
•  copper  color  and  their  hair  black,  which  is  common  to  all  the 
natives  of  North  America.  It  is  cut  in  various  forms  accor- 
ding to  the  fancy  of  the  several  tribes,  and  by  some  is  loft 
in  the  long,  jank  flow  of  nature.  Their  eyes  are  blsrk, 
keen  and  penetrating;  their  countenance  open  and  agreeable, 
and  it  is  a  principal  object  of  their  vanity  to  give  every  pos- 
sible decoration  to  their  persons.  A  material  article  in  their 
toilets  is  vermilliou.  which  they  contrast  with  their  native 


t;lue,  white,  and  brown  earths,  to  which  charcoal  is  frequent- 
ly added. 

Their  dress  is  at  once  simple  and  commodious.  It  consists 
of  tight  leggins,  reaching  near  the  hip;  a  strip  cf  cloth  or 
leather,  called  assiari,  obout  afoot  wide,  and  five  feet  long, 
whose  ends  are  drawn  inwards,  and  hang  behind  and  before, 
over  a  belt  tied  round  the  waist  for  that  purpose;  a  close  vest 
or  shirting  reaching  down  the  former  garment  and  tinctured 
with  a  broad  strip  of  parchment  fastened  with  thongs,  bshind: 
and  a  cap  for  the  head,  consisting  of  a  piece  of  fur,  or  small 
skin,  with  the  brush  of  the  animal  as  a,  suspended  ornament; 
a  kind  of  robe  is  thrown  occasionally  over  the  whole  of  the 
dress,  arid  serves  both  night  and  day.  These  articles,  with 
the  addition  of  shoes  and  mittens,  constitute  the  variety  of 
their  apparel.  1  he  materials  vary  according  to  the  season, 
end  consists  of  dressed  moose-skin,  beaver  prepared  with  the 
fur,  or  European  woollens.  Trie  leather  is  neatly  painted, 
and  fancifully  worked  ir.  some  parts  with  porcupine-quills, 
and  moose-deer  hair;  the  shirts  and  leggins  are  also  adorned 
with  fringe  and  tassals;  nor  are  the  shoes  and  mittens  with- 
out somewhat  of  appropriate  decoration,  and  worked  with  a 
considerable  degree  of  skill  and  taste.  These  habiliments 
are  put  on,  however,  as  fincy  or  convenience  suggests;  and 
they  will  sometimes  proceed  to  the  chase  in  the  severest 
frost,  covered  only  with  the  slightest  of  them,  Their  head 
dresses  are  composed  of  feathers  of  the  swan,  the  eagle,  and 
other  birds.  The 'teeth,  horns,  and  claws  of  different  ani- 
mals, are  also  the  occasional  ornaments  of  the  head  and 
neck.  Their  hair,  however  arranged,  is  always  besmeared 
with  greese.  The  making  of  every  article  of  dress  is  a  fe- 
male occupation;  and  the  women,  though  by  no  means  inat- 
tentive to  the  decoration  of  their  own  persons,  appear  to 
have  a  still  greater  degree"  of  pride  in  attending  to  the  ap- 
pearances of  the  men,  "whose  faces  are  painted  with  more 
care  than  those  of  the  women. 

The  female  dress  is  formed  of  the  same  materials  as  these 
of  the  other  sex,  but  of  a  different  make  and  arrangement: 
Their  shoes  are  commonly  plain,  and  their  leggins  gartered  the  knees.  The  coat  or  body  covering  falls  down  to 


the  middle  of  the  leg,  and  is  fastened  over  the  shoulders  with 
cords,  a  flap  or  c.ipo  turning  down  about  eight  inches,  both 
before  and  behind,  and  agreeably  ornamented  with  quill-work 
and  fringe;  the  bottom  is  also  fringed  and  fancifully  painted 
as  high  as  the  knee.  As  it  is  very  loose,  it  is  enclosed  round 
the  waist  with  a  stiff  belt,  decorated  with  tassels,  and  fas- 
tened behind.  The  arms  are  covered  to  the  wrist  with  de- 
tatched  sleeves,  which  are  sewed  as  far  as  the  bend  of  the 
arm;  from  tiseiice  they  are  drawn  up  to  the  neck,  and  the  cor- 
ners of  them  fall  duwa  behind  as  low  as  the  waist.  The  cap, 
when  they  wear  ono,  consists  of  a  certain  quantity  of  leath- 
er or  cloth,  sewed  at  one  end,  by  which  means  it  is  kept  on 
the  head,  and,  hanging  down  the  back,  is  fastened  to  the  belt, 
as  well  as  under  the  ciiin.  The  up  >er  garment  is  a  robe  like 
that  worn  by  the  men.  Their  hair  is  divided  on  the  crown, 
and  tied  behitul,  or  some-times  fastened  in  large  knots  over 
the  ears.  They  are  fund  of  European  articles,  and  prefer 
them  to  their  own  native  commodities.  Their  ornaments 
consist,  in  common  with  all  other  savages,  in  bracelets,  rings, 
and  similar  baubles.  Some  of  the  women  tattoo  three  per- 
pendicular lines,  which  are  sometimes  double;  one  from  the 
centre  of  tiie  chin  to  that  of  the  under  lip,  and  one  parallel 
on  either  side  of  tli5  corner  of  the  mouth. 

Of  all  the  nations  which  I  have  seen  on  this  continent, 
the  Kisteneaux  women  are  the  most  comely.  These  people 
are  naturally  mild  and  aria ble,  as  well  as  just  in  their  deal- 
ings, not  only  among  themselves,  but  with  strangers.*  They 
are  also  generous  and  hospitable,  and  good-natured  in  the  ex- 
treme, except  when  their  nature  is  perverted  by  the  inflam- 
matory influence  of  spirituous  liquors.  To  their  children 
they  are  indulgent  to  a  fault.  The  father,  though  he  assumes 
no  command  over  them,  is  ever  anxious  to  instruct  them  in 
all  the  preparatory  qualifications  for  war  and  hunting;  while 
the  mother  is  equally  attentive  to  her  daughters  in  teaching 

*They  h;ue  ivjen  called  tiaeves,  but  when  that  vice  can 
with  justice  bo  iiLi  rtbuted  to  thorn,  it  may  be  traced  to  their 
connexion  witli  tho'  civilized  people,  who  come  into  their 
'•country  to  i« 


them  every  thing1  that  is  considered  as  necessary  to  their 
character  and  situation.  It  does  not  appeal'  that  the  husband 
makes  any  distinction  between  the  children  of  his  wife, 
though. they  may  he  the  oiftprii-g  of  different  lathers.  II] i- 
gitimaey  is  only  attached  to  th<;se  who  are  born  before  their 
mothers  have  cohabited  with  any  man  by  t!ie  title  of  hus- 

When  a  man  loses  his  wife,  it  is  considered  as  a  .duty  to 
marry  her  sister,  if  she  has  one;  or  he  may,  if  he  pie  . 
have  them  both  at  the  same  time. 

It  will  appear  from  the  fatal  consequence  I  have  repeated- 
ly imputed  to  the  us-b  of  spirituous  liquors,  that  I  mere  par- 
ticularly considered  these  people  as. having  been,  morally 
speaking,  grest  sufferers  from  their  communication  with  the 
subjects  of  civilized  nations.  At  the  same  time  they  were 
not,  in  a  state  of  nature,  without  their  vices,  and  some  of 
n  of  a  kind  which  are  the  most  abhorrent  to  cultivated 
ana  reflecting  man.  I  shall  only  observe,  that  incest  and 
bestiality  are  among  them. 

When  a  young  man  marries,  he  immediately  goes  to  livb 
with  the  father  and  mathercf  his  wife,  who  treat  him,  nev- 
ertheless, as  a  perfect  stranger,  until  after  the  birth  of  his 
first  child:  he  then  attaches  himself  more  to  them  than  to 
his  own  parents;  and  his  wife  no  longer  gives  him  any  other 
denomination  than  that  of  the  father  of  her  child. 

The  profession  of  the  men  in  war  and  hunting,  and  the 
more  active  scene  of  their  duty  is  the  field  of  battle,  and  the 
chase  in  the  woods.  They  also  spear  fish,  but  the  manage- 
ment of  the  nets  is  left  to  the  women.  The  females  of  this 
nation  are  in  the  same  subordinate  state  with  those  of  ail  oth- 
er savage  tribes;  but  the  severity  of  their  labor  is  much  di- 
minished by  their  situation  on  the  banks  of  lakes  and  rivers, 
where  they  employ  canoes.  In  the  winter,  when  the  waters 
are  frozen  they  make  their  journeys,  which  ars  never  of  any 
great  length,  with  sledges  drawn  by  dogs.  They  are  at  the 
game  time,  subject  to  every  kind  of  domestic  drudgery;  they 
dress  the  leather,  make  r.he  clothes  and  shoes,  weave  the  nets, 
collect  Wool,  erect  u.j  i,  rater,  and  perform  every 

culinary  service;  so  that  when  the  duties  of  maternal  care 


are  added,  it  will  appear  that  the  life  of  these  women  in  an 
uninterrupted  succession  or'  toil  and  pain.  This,  indeed  is 
the  sense  they  entertain  of  their  own  situation;  and,  under 
the  influence  of  that  sentiment,  they  are  sometimes  known 
to  cbstroy  their  female  children,  to  save  them  from  the  mis- 
eries which  they  themselves  have  suffered.  They  also  have 
a  ready  w*y,  by  the  use  of  certain  simples,  of  procuring 
abortions,  which  they  sometimes  practice,  from  their  hatred 
of  the  father,  or  to  save  themselves  the  trouble  which  chil- 
dren occasion;  and,  as  I  have  been  credibly  informed,  this 
unnatural  act  is  repeated  without  any  injury  to  the  health  of 
the  women  who  perpetrate  it. 

The  funeral  rites  begin,  like  all  other  solemn  ceremonials, 
with  smoking,  and  are  concluded  by  a  feast.  The  body  is 
dressed  in  the  best  habiliments  possessed  by  the  deceased,  or 
his  relations,  and  is  then  deposited  in  a  grave,  lined  with 
branches;  some  domestic  utensils  are  placed  on  it,  and  a  kind 
of  canopy  erected  o^-er  it.  Durirg  this  ceremony,  great  la- 
mentioES  are  made;  and  if  the  departed  person  is  very  much 
regretted,  the  near  relations  cut  oft"  their  hair,  pierce  the 
fleshy  part  of  their  thighs  and  arms  with  arrows,  knives,  &c. 
and  blacken  their  face  with  charcoal.  If  they  have  distin- 
guished themselves  in  war,  they  ore  sometimes  on  a  kind  of 
scaffolding;  and  I  have  been  informed  that  women  in  the  east, 
have  been  known  to  sacrifice  themselves  to  the  nianes  of 
their  husbands.  The  whole  of  the  property  belonging  to 
the  departed  person  is  destroyed;  and  the  relations  take  in 
exchange  for  the  wearing  apparel,  any  rags  that  will  cover 
their  nakedness.  The  feast  bestowed  on  the  occasion,  which 
is,  or  at  least  used  to  be,  repeated  annually,  is  accompanied 
with  eulogiumson  the  deceased,  and  without  any  ^icts  of  fe- 
rocity. On  the  tomb  is  carved  or  painted,  the  symbols  of  his 
tribe,  which  are  taken  from  the  different  animals  of  the  coun- 

They  have  frequently  feasts,  and  particular  circumstances 
never  fail  to  produce  them;  euch  as  a  tedious  illness,  long 
fasting,  &c.  On  these  occasions  it  is  usual  for  the  person 
who  means  to  give  the  entertainment,  to  announce  his  de- 
sign, on  a  certain  day  of  opening  the  medicine  bag  and  emo- 


king  out  his  sacred  stem.  This  declaration  is  considered  aa 
a  sacred  vow  that  cannot  be  broken,  'i  here  are  also  stated 
periods,  such  as  the  spring  and  autumn,  when  they  engage 
in  very  long  and  solemn  ceremonies.  On  these  occasions 
dogs  are  offered  as  sacrifices;  and  those  who  arc  very  fat, 
and  milk  white,  are  preferred.  They  also  make  large  offer- 
ings of  their  property,  whatever  it  may  be.  The  scene  of 
these  ceremonies  is  in  an  open  enclosure  on  the  bank  of  a 
river  or  lake,  and  in  the  most  conspicuous  situation,  in  order 
that  such  as  are  passing  along  or  travelling,  may  be  induced 
to  make  their  oiferings.  There  H  also  a  particular  custom 
among  them,  that  on  these  occasions,  if  any  of  the  tribe,-  or 
even  a  stranger,  should  be  passing  by,  and  be  in  real  want  of 
any  thing  that  is  displayed  as  an  offering,  he  has  a  right  to 
take  it,  so  that  he  replaces  it  with  some  article  he  can  spare, 
though  it  be  of  far  infer 'or  value:  but  to  take  or  touch  any 
thing  wantonly,  is  considered  as  a  sacrilegious  act,  and  high- 
ly insulting  to  the  great  Master  of  Life,  to  use  their  own  ex- 
pression, who  is  the  sacred  object  of  their  devotion. 

The  scene  of  private  sacrifice  is  the  lodge  of  the  person 
who  performs  it,  which  is  prepared  for  that  purpose  by  re- 
moving every  thing  out -of  it.  and  spreading  green  branches 
in  every  part.  The  fire  and  ashes  are  also  taken  away.  A 
new  hearth  is  made  of  fresh  earthy  and  another  fire  is  lighted. 
The  owner  of  the  dwelling  remains  alone  in  it;  and  he  be- 
gins the  ceremony  by  spreading  a  piece  of  new  cloth,  or  a 
well-dressed  moose-ski  a  neatly  painted,  on  which  he  opens 
his  medicine  bag  and  exposes  its  contents,  consisting  of, va- 
rious articles.  The  principle  of  them  is  a  kind  of  household 
god,  which  is  a  small  dftrved  image  about  eight  inches  long. 
Its  first  covering  is  of  down,  .over  which  a  piece  of  birch 
bark  is  closely  tied;  and  the  whole  is  enveloped  in  several 
folds  of  red  and  blue  cloth.  -..This  little <figue  is  an  object  of 
the  most  pious  regard.  The  next  articlo  is  his  war-cap, 
which  is  decorated  with  the  feathers  and  plumes  of  scarce 
birds,  beavers,  a:id  eagles'  claws,  &c.  There  is  also  BUB- 
pended  from  it  .a  quill  or  feather  for  every  enemy  whom  the 
owner  of  it  has  slain  In  bairlo.  The  remaining  contents  of 
the  bag  are,  a  piece  ui  Ikazu  tobacco,  several  roots  end  sim- 


pies,  which  are  in  great  estimation  for  the  medicinal  quali- 
ties, and  a  pipe.  These  articles  being  all  exposed,  and  the 
Blem  resting  upon  two  forks,  as  it  must  not  touch  the  ground, 
the  master  of  the  lodge  sends  for  the  person  he  most  esteems, 
who  sits  down  opposite  to  him,  the  pipe  is  then  filled  and  fix- 
ed to  the  stem.  A  pair  of  wooden  pincers  is  provided  to 
put  the  fire  in  the  pipe,  and  a  double  pointed  pin,  to  empty 
it  of  the  remnant  of  tobacco  which  is  not  consumed.  This 
arrangement  being  made,  the  men  assemble,  and  sometimes 
the  women  are  allowed  to  be  humble  spectators,  while  the 
most  religious  awe  and  solemnity  pervade  the  whole. — 
The  Michiniwais,  or  Assistant,  takes  up  tne  pipe,  lights  it, 
and  presents  it  to  the  officiating  person,  who  receives  it 
standing,  and  holds  it  between  both  his  hands.  He  then 
turns  himself  to  the  east,  and  draws  a  few  whiffs,  which  he 
blows  to  that  point..  The  same  ceremony  he  observes  to  the 
other  three  quarters,  with  his  eyes  directed  upwards  during 
the  whole  of  it.  He  holds  the  stem  about  the  middle  be- 
tween the  three  first  fingers  of  both  hands,  and  raising  them 
upon  a  line  with  his  forehead,  he  swings  it  three  times  round 
from  the  east,  with  the  sun,  when,  after  pointing  and  balan- 
cing it  in  various  directions,  he  reposes  it  on  the  forks;  he 
then  makes  a  speech  to  explain  the  design  of  their  being  call- 
ed together,  which  concludes  with  an  acknowledgment  of 
past  mercies,  and  a  prayer  for  the  continuance  of  them  from 
the  Master  of  Life.  He  then  sits  down,  and  the  whole  com- 
pany declare  their  approbation  and  thanks  by  uttering  the 
word  ho!  with  an  emphatic  prolongation  of  the  last  letter. 
The  Michiniwais  then  takes  up  the  pipe'  and  holds  it  to  the 
mouth  of  the  officiating  person,  who,  after  smoking  three 
whiifs  out  of  it,  utters  a  short  prayer,  and  then  goes  around 
with  it,  taking  his  course  from  east  to  west,  to  every  person 
present,  who  individually  says  something  to  him  on  the  oc- 
casion: and  thus  the  pipe  is  generally  smoked  out;  when  af- 
ter turning  it  three  or  four  times  round  his  head,  he  drops  it 
downwards  and  replaces  it  in  its  original  situation.  He  then 
thanks  the  company  for  their  attendance,  and  wishes  them, 
as  well  as  the  whole  tribe,  health  and  long  life. 

These  smoking  rites  precede  every  matter  of  great  im- 


portance,  witk  more  or  less  ceremony,  but  always  with  equal 
solemnity.  The  utility  of 'them  will  appear  from  the  follow- 
ing relation: 

If  a  chief  is  anxious  to  know  the  disposition  of  his  people 
towards  him,  or  he  wishes  to  settle  any  difference  between 
them',. he  announces  his  intention  of  opening  his  medicine 
bag  and  smoking  in  his  sacred  stem;  and  no  man  who  en- 
tertains a  grudge  against  any  of  the  party  thus  assembled, 
can  smoke  with  the  sacred  stem;  as  that  ceremony  dissipates 
all  differences,  and  is  never  violated. 

No  one  can  avoid  attending  on  these  occasions;  but  a  per- 
son may  attend  and  be  excused  from  .assisting  at  the  ceremo- 
nies, by  acknowledging  that  he  has  not  undergone  the  neces- 
sary purification.  The  having  cohabited  with  his  wife,  or 
any  other  woman,  within  twenty-four  hours  preceding  the 
ceremony,  renders  him  unclean,  and,  consequently  disquali- 
fies him  from  performing  any  part  of  it.  If  a  contract  is 
entered  into  and  solemnized  by  the  ceremony  of  smoking,  it 
never  fails  of  being  faithfully  fulfilled..  If  a  person,  previ- 
ous to  his  going  on  a  journey,  leaves  the  sacred  stem  as  a 
pledgo  of  his  return,  no  consideration  whatever  will  prevent 
him  from  executing  his  engagement.* 

The  chief,  when  he  proposes  to  make  a  feast,  sends  quills, 
or  small  pieces  of  wood,  as  tokens  of  invitation  to  such  as  he 
wishes  to  partake  of  it.  At  the  appointed  time  the  guests 
arrive,  each  bringing  a  dish  or  platter,  and  a  knife,  and 
take  their  seats  on  each  side  of  the  chief,  who  receives  them 
sitting,  according  to  their  respective  ages.  The  pipe  is  then 
lighted,  and  he  makes  an  equal  division  of  every  thing  that 
is  provided.  While  the  company  are  enjoying  their  meal, 
the  chief  sings,  and  accompanies  his  song  with  the  tambo- 
rine,  or  shishiquoi,  or  rattle*  The  guest  who  has  first  eaten 
his  portion  is  considered  as  the  most  distinguished  person. — 
If  there  should  be  any  who  cannot  finish  the  whole  of  their 
mess,  they  endeavor  to  prevail  on  some  of  their  friendi  to 
eat  it  for  them,  who  are  rewarded  for  their  assistance  with 

*It  is  however  to  be  lamented,  that  of  late  their  is  a  relax  . 
of  the  duties  originally  attached  to  the  festivals- . 


ammunition  and  tobacco.  It  is  proper  also  to  remark,  that 
at  these  feasts  a  smell  quantity  of  meat  offering  is  sacrificed, 
before  they  begin  to  eat  by  throwing  it  into  the  fire,  or  on 
the  earth. 

These  feasts  differ  according  to  circumstances;  sometimes 
each  man's  allowance  is  no  more  than  he  can  despatch  in  a 
couple  of  hours. 

At  other  times  the  quantity  is  sufficient  to  supply  each  of 
them  with  food  for  a  week,  though  it  must  be  devoured  in  a 
day.  On  these  occasion  it  is  very  difficult  to  procure  sub- 
stitutes, and  the  whole  must  be  eaten  whatever  time  it  may 
require.  At  some  of  these  entertainments  there  is  a  more 
rational  arrangement,  when  the  guests  arc  allowed  to  carry 
home  with  them  the  superfluous  part  of  their  portions. — 
Great  care  is  always  taken  that  the  bones  may  be  burned,  as 
it  would  be  considered  a  profanation  were  the  dogs  permitted 
to  touch  them. 

The  public  feasts  are  conducted  in  the  same  manner,  but 
with  some  additioral  ceremony.  Several  chiefs  officiate  at 
them,  and  procure  the  necessary  provisions,  as  well  as  pre- 
pare a  proper  place  of  reception  for  the  numerous  company. 
Here  the  guests  discourse  upon  public  topics,  repeat  the  he- 
roic deeds  of  their  forefathers,  and  excite  the  rising  genera- 
tion to  follow  their  example.  The  entertainments  on  these 
occasions  consist  of  dried  meats,  as  it  would  not  be  practica- 
ble to  dress  a  sufficient  quantity  of  fresh  meat  for  such  a 
large  assembly;  though  the  women  and  children  are  exclu- 

Similar  feasts  used  to  be  made  at  funerals,  and  annually, 
in  honor  of  the  dead;  but  they  have  been,  for  some  time, 
growing  into  disuse,  and  I  never  had  an  opportunity  of  being 
present  at  any  of  them. 

The  women,  who  are  forbidden  to  enter  the  places  eacred 
to  these  festivals,  dance  and  sing  around  them,  and  some- 
times beat  time  to  the  music  within  them;  which  forms  an 
agreeable  contrast. 

With  respect  to  their  divisions  of  time,  they  compute  the 
length  of  journies  by  the  number  of  nights  passed  in  perfor- 


ming  them;  and  they  divide  the  year  by  their  own  succes- 
sion of  moons.  In  this  calculation,  however,  they  are  not 
altogether  correct,  as  they  cannot  account  for  odd  days. 

The  names  which  they  give  to  the  moons,  are  descriptire 
of  the  several  seasons,  and  as  follows: 

May  .         -  Frog  Moon. 

,  /   The  moon  in  which  birds 

\   begin  to  lay  their  eggs. 

,  )   The  moon  when  birds  cast 

}   their  feathers. 

The  moon  when  the  young 

birds  begin  to  fly. 

The  moon  when  theMoose 


October  -  The  rotting  moon. 

November  •%         -        Hoar-frost  moon. 

December       -  Whirlwind  moon. 

January  -  -        Extreme  cold  moon. 

)   Bi<?  moon;  some   say. 

Old  moon. 

March  -  Eagle  mcon. 

April      -  -  Goose  moon. 

These  people  know  the  medicinal  virtues  of  many  herbs 
and  simples,  and  apply  the  roots  of  plants  and  the  bark  of 
trees  with  success.  But  the  conjurers,  who  monopolize  the 
medical  science,  find  it  necessary  to  blend  mystery  with  their 
art,  and  do  not  communicate  their  knowledge.  Their  mate- 
ria  medica  they  administer  in  the  form  of  purges  and  clys- 
ters; but  the  remedies  and  surgical  operations  are  supposed 
to  derive  much  of  their  effect  from  magic  and  incantation.  — 
When  a  blister  rises  in  the  foot  from  the  frost,  the  chafing  of 
the  shoe,  &c.,  they  immediately  open  it,  and  apply  the  heat- 
ed blade  of  a  knife  to  the  part,  which,  painful  as  it  may  be, 
is  found  to  l>e  efficacious.  A  sharp  flint  serves  them  as  a  lan- 
cet for  letting  blood,  as  well  as  for  sacrification  in  bruises 
and  swellings.  For  sprains,  the  dung  of  an  animal  just  kill- 
ed is  considered  as  the  best  remedy.  They  are  very  fond  of 
European  medicines,  though  they  are  ignorant  of  their  ap- 


plication:  and  those  articles  form  an  inconsiderable  part  of 
the  European  traffic  with  them. 

Among  their  various  superstitions,  they  believe  the  vapor 
which  is  seen  to  hover  over  moist  and  swampy  places  is  the 
spirit  of  some  person  lately  dead.  They  also  fancy  another 
spirit,  which  appears  in  the  shape  of  a  man,  upon  the  trees 
near  the  lodge  of  a  person  deceased,  whose  property  has  not 
been  interred  with  him.  He  is  represented  as  bearing  a  gun 
in  his  hand;  and  it  is  believed  lie  does  not  return  to  his  rest, 
until  the  property,  that  has  been  withheld  from  the  grave  has 
been  sacrificed  to  it. 


Some  account  of  the  Chipewyan  Indians. 

They  are  a  numerous  people,  who  consider  the  country  be- 
tween the  parallels  of  latitude  60  and  65  north,  and  longi- 
tude 100  to  110  west,  as  their  lands  of  home.  They  speak 
a  copious  language,  which  is  very  difficult  to  be  attained. 

The  notion  which  these  people  entertain  of  the  creation, 
is  of  a  very  singular  nature.  They  believe  that,  at  the  first, 
the  globe  was  one  vast  and  entire  ocean,  inhabited  by  no 
living  creature,  except  a  mighty  bird,  whose  eyes  were  fire, 
whose  glances  were  lightning,  and  the  clapping  of  whose 
wings  was  thunder.  On  his  descent  to  the  ocean,  and  touch- 
ing it,  the  earth  instantly  arose,  and  relnained  on  the  surface 
of  the  waters.  This  omnipotent  bird  then  called  forth  all 
the  variety  of  animals  from  the  earth,  except  the  Chipewy- 
ans,  who  were  produced  from  a  dog;  and  this  circumstance 
occasions  their  aversion  to  the  flesh  of  that  animal,  as  well 
as  the  people  who  eat  it.  This  extraordinary  tradition  pro- 
ceeds to  relate,  that  the  great  bird,  having  finished  his  work, 
made  an  arrow,  which  was  to  be  preserved  with  great  care, 
and  to  remain  untouched;  but  that  the  Chipewyans  were  so 
devoid  of  understanding,  as  to  carry  it  away;  and  the  sacri- 
lege so  enraged  the  bird,  that  he  has  never  since  appeared. 

They  have  also  a  tradition  among  them,  that  they  origin- 
ally came  from  another  country,  inhabited  by  a  very  wicked 
people,  and  have  traversed  a  great  lake  which  was  narrow, 
shallow,  and  full  of  islands,  where  they  had  suffered  great 


misery,  it  being  always  winter,  with  ice  and  deep  snow,— 
At  the  Copper  mine  river,  where  they  made  the  first  land, 
the  ground  was  covered  with  copper,  over  which  a  body  of 
earth  has  since  been  collected,  to  the  depth  of  a  man's  height. 
They  believe  also,  that  in  ancient  times  their  ancestors  lived 
till  their  feet  were  worn  out  with  walking,  and  their  throats 
with  eating.  They  describe  a  deluge,  when  the  waters 
spread  over  the  whole  earth,  except  the  highest  mountains, 
on  the  tops  of  which  they  preserved  themselves. 

They  believe,  that  immediately  after  their  death,  they  pass 
into  another  world,  where  they  arrive  at  a  large  river,  on 
which  they  embark  in  a  stone  canoe,  and  that  a  gentle  cur- 
rent bears  them  on  to  an  extensive  lake,  in  the  centre  of 
which  is  a  most  beautiful  island;  and  that,  in  the  view  of 
this  delightful  abode,  they  receive  that  judgment  for  their 
conduct  during  life,  which  terminates  their  final  state  and 
unalterable  allotment.  If  their  good  actions  are  declared  to 
predominate,  they  are  landed  upon  the  island,  where  there 
is  to  be  no  end  to  their  happiness;  which,  however,  accord- 
ing to  their  notions,  consist  in  an  eternal  enjoyment  of  sen- 
sual pleasure,  and  carnal  gratification.  But  if  there  be  bad 
actions  to  weigh  down  the  balance,  the  stone  canoe  sinks  at 
once,  and  leaves  them  up  to  their  chins  in  the  water,  to  be- 
hold and  regret  the  reward  enjoyed  by  the  good,  and  eternal- 
ly strugling,  but,  with  unavailing  endeavors,  to  reach  the 
blissful  island  from  which  they  are  excluded  forever. 

They  have  some  faint  notions  of  the  transmigration  of 
the  soul;  so  that  if  a  child  be  born  with  teeth,  they  instantly 
imagine,  from  its  premature  appearance,  that  it  bears  a  re- 
semblance to  some  person  who  had  lived  to  an  advanced  pe- 
riod, and  that  he  has  assumed  a  renovated^  life,  with  these 
extraordinary  tokens  of  maturity. 

The  Chepewyans-are  sober,  timorous,  and  vagrant,  with 
a  selfish  disposition  which  has  sometimes  created  suspicions 
of  their  integrity.  Their  stature  has  nothing  remarkable  in 
it;  but  though  they  are  seldom  corpulent,  they  are  sometimes 
robust.  Their  complexion  is  swarthy;  their  features  coarse, 
and  their  hair  lank,  but  not  always  of  a  dingy  black;  nor 
have  they  universally  the  piercing  eye,  which  generally  an- 


imates  the  Indian  countenance.  The  woman  have  a  more 
agreeable  aspect  than  the  men;  but  their  gait  is  awkward, 
which  proceeds  from  their  being  accustomed  nine  months  in 
the  year,  to  travel  on  snow-shoes  and  drag  sledges  of  a  weight 
from  two  to  four  hundred  pounds.  They  are  very  submis- 
sive to  their  husbands,  who  have,  ho  w  ever,  their  fits  of  jeal- 
ousy; and,  for  very  trifling  causes,  treat  them  with  such  cru- 
elty as  sometimes  to  occasion  their  death.  They  are  fre- 
quently objects  of  traffic;  and  the  father  possesses  the  right 
of  disposing  of  his  daughter.*  The  men  in  general  extract 
their  beards;  though  some  of  them  are  seen  to  prefer  a 
bushy,  black  beard,  to  a  smooth  chin.  They  cut  their  hair 
in  various  forms,  or  leave  it  in  a  long  natural  flow,  according 
as  their  caprice  or  tancy  suggests.  The  woman  always  wear 
it  in  a  great  length;  -and  some  of  them  are  very  attentive  to 
its  arrangement.  If  they  at  any  time  appear  despoiled  of 
their  tresses,  it  is  to  be  esteemed  a  proof  of  the  husband's 
jealousy,  and  is  considered  as  a  Severer  punishment  than 
manuel  correction.  Both  sexes  have  blue  or  black  bars,  or 
from  one  to  four  straight  lines  on  their  cheeks  or  forehead;  to 
distinguish  the  tribe  to  which  they  belong.  These  marks  are 
either  tatooed,  or  mad6  by  drawing  a  thread,  dipped  in  the 
necessary  colour,  beneath  the  skin. 

There  are  no  people  more  attentive  to  the  comforts  of 
fheir  dress,  or  less  anxious  respecting  its  exterior  appear- 
ance. In  the  winter  it  is  composed  of  the  skins  of  deer, 
and  their  fawns,  and  dressed  as  fine  as  any  chamois  leather 
in  the  hair.  In  the  summer  their  apparel  is  the  same,  ex- 
cept that  it  is  prepared  without  the  hair.  The  shoes  and  leg- 
gins  are  sewed  together,  the  latter  reaching  upwards,  to  the 
middle,  and  being  supported  by  a  belt,  under  which  a  small 
piece  of  leather  is  drawn  to  cover  the  private  parts,  the  ends 
of  which  fall  down  both  before  and  behind.  In  the  shoes 
they  put  the  hair  of  the  rnoose  or  rein-deer,  with  additional 
pieces  of  leather  as  socks.  The  shirt  or  coat,  when  girded 

*They  do  not,  however,  sell  them  as  slaves;  but  as  com- 
panions to  those  who  aje  supposed  to  liy.e  more  comfortably 
than  themselves. 


round  the  waist,  reaches  the  middle  of  the  thigh;  and  the 
mittens  are  sewed  to  the  sleeves,  or  are  suspended  hy  strings 
from  the  shoulders.  A  mil*  or  tippet  surrounds  the  neck;  and 
the  skin  of  the  head  of  the  deer  forms  a  curious  kind  of  cap. 
A  robe,  made  of  several  deer  or  fawn  skins  sew3d,  together, 
covers  the  whole.  This  dress  is  worn  single  or  double,  but 
always  in  the  winter,  with  the  hJir  within  and  without. — 
Thus  arrayed,  aChepewyari  iv  ill  lay  himself  down  on  the  ico 
in  the  middle  of  a  lake,  and  repose  in  comfort;  though  he 
will  sometimes  find  a  difficulty  in  the  morning  to  disencum- 
ber himself  from  the  snow  drifted  on  him  during  the  night. 
If  in  his  passage  he  should  be  in  want  of  provision,  he  cuts 
a  hole  in  the  ice,  when  he  seldom  fails  of  taking  some  trout 
or  pike,  whose  eyes  he  instantly  scoops  out,  and  eats  as  a 
great  delicacy;  but  if  they  should  not  be  sufficient  to  satisfy 
his  appetite,  he  will,  in  this  necesity,  make  his  meal  of  the 
fish  in  its  raw  state;  but,  those  whom  I  saw,  preferred  to 
dress  their  victuals  when  circumstances  admitted  the  neces- 
sary preparation.  When  they  are  in  that  part  of  their  coun- 
try which  does  not  produce  a  sufficient  quantity  of  wood  for 
fuel,  they  are  reduced  to  the  same  exigency;  though  they 
generally  dry  their  meat  in  the  sun.* 

The  dress  of  the  woman  diffbrs  from  that  of  the  men. — 
Tlteir  leg^fins  are  tied  below  the  knee;  and  their  coat  or  shift 
is  wido,  hanging  down  to  the  ankle,  and  is  tucked  up  at 
pleasure  by  means  of  a  belt,  which  is  fastened  round  the 

*The  provision  called  Pe'mican,  on  which  tho  Chepewy- 
ans,  as  well  as  the  other  savages  of  this  country,  chiefly  sub- 
sists in  their  journies,  is  prepared  in  the  following  manner. 
The  lean  parts  of  the  flesh  of  the  larger  animals  are  cut  in 
thin  slices,  and  are  placed  on  a  wooden  grate  over  a  slow  fire, 
or  exposed  to  the  sun,  and  sometimes  to  the  frost.  These 
operations  dry  it;  and  in  that  state  it  is  pounded  between  two 
stones:  it  will  then  keep  with  care  for  several  years.  If, 
however,  it  is  kept  in  iarge  quantities,  it  is  disposed  to  fer- 
ment in  the  spring  of  the  year,  when  it  must  be  exposed  to 
the  air,  or  it  will  soon  decay.  The  inside  fat,  and  that  of 


waist.  Those  who  have  children  have  these  garments  made 
full  about  the  shoulders;  and  when  they  are  travelling  they 
carry  their  infants  upon  their  backs,  next  their  skin,  in  which 
situation  they  are  perfectly  comfortable,  and  in  a  position 
convenient  to  be  suckled.  Nor  do  they  discontinue  to  give 
their  milk  to  them  until  they  have  another  child.  Child- 
birth is  not  the  object  of  that  tender  care  and  serious  atten- 
tion among  the  savages  as  it  is  among  civilized  people.  At 
this  period  no  part  of  their  usual  occupation  is. omitted;  and 
this  continual  and  regular  exercise  must  contribute  to  the 
welfare  of  the  mother,  both  in  the  progress  of  partuition  and 
in  the  moment  of  delivery.  The  women  have  a  singular  cus- 
tom of  cutting  off  a  small  piece  of  the  navel-string  of  the 
new  born  children,  and  hanging  it  about  their  necks:  they 
are  curious  in  the  covering  they  make  for  it,  which  they  de- 
corate with  porcupine-quills  and  beads. 

Though  the  women  are  as  much  in  the  power  of  the  men, 
as  any  other  articles  of  their  property,  they  are  always  con- 
sulted, and  possess  a  very  considerable  influence  in  the  traffic 
with  Europeans,  and  other  important  concerns. 

Plurality  of  wives  is  common  among  them;  and  the  cere- 
mony of  marriage  is  of  a  very  simple  nature.  The  girls  are 
betrothed  at  a  very  early  period  to  those  whom  the  parents 
think  the  best  able  to  support  them:  nor  is  the  inclination  of 
the  woman  considered.  Whenever  a  separation  takes  place, 
which  sometimes  happens,  it  depends  entirely  on  the  will 
and  pleasure  of  the  husband.  In  common  with  the  other 
Indians  of  this  country,  they  have  a  custom  respecting  the 

the  rump,  which  is  much  thicker  in  these  wild  than  our  do- 
mestic animals,  is  melted  down  and  mixed  in  a  boiling  state, 
with  the  pounded  meat,  in  equal  proportions:  it  is  then  put 
in  baskets  or  bags  for  the  convenience  of  carrying  it.  Thus 
it  becomes  a  nutritious  food,  and  is  eaten,  without  any  furth- 
er preparation,  or  the  addition  of  spice,  salt,  or  any  vegeta- 
ble or  farinaceous  substance.  A  little  time  reconciles  it  to 
the  palate.  There  is  another  sort  made  with  the  addition 
of  marrow  and  dried  berries,  which  is  of  a  superior  quality. 


periodical  state  of  a  woman,  which  is  rigorously  observed;  at 
that  tim^  she  must  seclude  herself  from  society.  They  are 
riot  even  allowed  in 'that  situation  to  keep  the  same  path  as 
the  men,  when  travelling:  and  it  is  considered  a  great  breach 
of  decency  for  a  woman  so  circumstanced  to  touch  any  uten- 
sils of  manly  occupation.  Such  a  circnmstance  is  supposed 
to  defile  them,  so' that  their  subsequent  use  would  be  follow- 
ed by  certain  mischief  or  misfortune.  There  are  particular 
skins  which  the  women  never  touch,  as  of  the  bear  and  wolf; 
but  those  animals  the  men  are  seldom  known  to  kill. 

As  these  people  are  not  addicted  to  spirituous  liquors,  they 
have  a  regular  and  uninterrupted  use  of  their  understanding, 
which  is  always  directed  to  the  advancement  of  their  own 
interests;  and  this  disposition,  as  may  be  readily  imagined, 
sometimes  occasions  them  to  be  charged  with  fraudulent  hab- 
its. They  will  submit  with  patience  to  the  severest  treat- 
ment, when  they  are  conscious  they  deserve  it,  but  will  nev- 
er forget  nor  forgive  any  wanton  or  unnecessary  rigour.  A 
moderate  conduct  I  never  found  to  fail;  nor  do  I  hesitate  to 
represent  them,  altogether,  as  the  most  peaceable  tribe  of  In- 
dians known  in  North  America. 

There  are  conjurers  and  high-priests;  but  I  was  not  pres- 
ent at  any  of  their  ceremonies;  though  they  certainly  operate 
in  an  extraordinary  manner  on  the  imaginations  of  the  peo- 
ple in  the  cure  of  disorders.  Their  principal  maladies  are 
the  rheumatic  pains,  the  flux  and  consumption.  The  vene- 
real complaint  is  very  common;  but  though  its  progress  is 
slow,  it  gradually  undermines  the  constitution,  and  brings  on 
premature  decay.  They  have  recourse  to  superstition  for 
their  care;  and  charms  are  their  only  remedies,  except  the 
bark  of  the  willow,  which  being  burned  and  reduced  to  pow- 
der is  str&wed  upon  green  wounds  and  ulcers,  and  places  con-, 
trived  for  promoting  perspiration.  Of  the  use  of  simples  and 
plants  they  have  no  knowledge;  nor  can  it  be  expected,  as 
their  country  does  not  produce  them. 

In  their  quarrels  with  each  other,  they  very  rarely  pro- 
ceed to  a  greater  degree  of  violence  than  is  occasioned  by 
blows,  wrestling,  and  pulling  of  the  hair;  while  their  abusive 
language  consists  in  applying  the  name  of  the  most  ofFen- 


sive  animal  to  the  object   of  their   displeasure,  and  adding 
the  term  ugly,  and  chiay,  or  stillborn.* 

The  snow-shoes  are  of  very  superior  workmanship.  The 
inner  part  of  their  frame  is  straight,  the  outer  is  curved, 
and  it  is  painted  at  both  ends,  with  that  in  front  turned  up. 
They  are  also  laced  with  great  neatness,  with  thongs  made  of 
deer-skin.  The  sledges  are  formed  of  thin  slips  of  board 
turned  up  also  in  front,  and  are  highly  polished  with  crooked 
knives  in  order  to  slide  along  with  facility.  Close-grained 
wood  is,  on  that  account,  the  best;  but  theirs  are  made  of  the 
red  or  swamp  spruce-fir  tree 

Their  amusements  or  recreations  are  but  few.  Their  mu- 
eic  is  so  inharmonious,  and  their  dancing  so  awkward,  that 
they  might  be  supposed  to  be  ashamed  of  both,  as  they  very 
seldom  practice  either.  They  also  shoot  at  marks,  and  play 
at  the  games  common  among  them;  but  in  fact  prefer  sleep- 
ing to  either;  and  the  greater  part  of  their  time  is  passed  in 
procuring  food,  and  resting  from  the  toil  necessary  to  ob- 
tain it. 

They  are  also  of  a  querulous  disposition,  and  are  continu- 
ally making  complaints;  which  they  express  by  a  constant 
repetition  of  the  word  eduiy,  "it  is  hard,"  in  a  whining  and 
plaintive  tone  of  voice. 

They  are  superstitious  in  the  extreme;  and  almost  every 
action  of  their  lives,  however  trivial,  is  more  or  less  influen- 
ced by  some  whimsical  notion.  I  never  observed  that  they 
had  any  particular  form  of  religious  worship;  but  as  they  be- 
lieve in  a  good  and  evil  spirit;  and  a  state  of  future  rewards 
and  punishments,  they  cannot  be  devoid  of  religious  impres- 
sions. At  the  same  time  they  manifest  a  decided  unwilling- 
ness to  make  any  communications  on  the  subject. 

The  Chepewyans  have  beon  accused  of  abandoning  their 
aged  arid  imfirm  people  to  perish,  and  of  not  burying  their 
dsad;  but  these  are  melancholly  necessities,  which  procee 
from  their  wandering  way  of  life.  They  are  by  no  means 

*This  name  is  also  applicable  to  the  fsetus  of  an  animal, 
when  killed,  which  is  considered  as  one  of  the  greatest  deli- 


universal;  for  it  is  within  my  knowledge,  that  a  mm  render- 
ed helpless  by  palsy,  was  carried  about  for  many  years,  with 
the  greatest  tenderness  and  attention,  till  he  died  a  natural 
death.  That  they  should  not  bury  their  dead  in  their  own 
country,  cannot  be  imputed  to  them  a  custom  arising  from  a 
savage  insensibility,  as  they  inhabit  such  high  latitudes  that 
the  ground  never  thaws;  but  is  well  known,  that  when  they 
ere  in  the  woods,  they  cover  their  dead  with  tresj.  Besides, 
they  manifest  no  common  respect  to  the*  memory  of  their  de- 
parted friends,  by  a  long  period  of  mourning,  c:it;ing  of  their 
hair,  and  never  make  use  of  the  property  of  the  deceased. — 
Nay,  they  frequently  destroy  or  sacrifice  their  own,  as  a 
token  of  regret  and  sorrow. 


GRAND  OSAGE. — They  claim  the  country  within  the  fol- 
lowing limits,  viz:  commencing  at  the  mouti  of  a  south 
branch  of  the  Osage  river,  called  Neangeua,  and  with  the 
game  to  its  source,  thence  southwardly  to  intersect  the  Ar- 
kansas, about  one  hundred  miles  below  the  three  forks  of  that 
river;  thence  up  the  principal  branch  of  the  same;  to  the  con- 
fluence of  a  large  northwardly  branch  of  the  same,  lying  a 
considerable  distance  west  of  the  Great  Saline,  and  with 
that  stream  nearly  to  its  source;  thence  north-wardly,  towards 
the  Kansas  river,  embracing  the  waters  of  the  upper  portion 
of  the  Osage  river;  and  thence  obliquely  approaching  the 
same  to  the  bcgining.  The  climate  is  del.'ghtful,  and  the 
soil  fertile  in  the  extreme.  The  face  of  the  country  is  gen- 
erally level,  and  well  watered;  the  eastern  part  of  the  coun- 
try is  covered  with  a  variety  of  excellent  timber;  the  wes- 
tern and  middle  country,  high  prairies.  It  embraces  within 
its  limits  four  salines,  \A  Inch  are,  in  point  cf  magnitude  and 
excellence,  unequalled  by  any  known  in  North  America; 
there  are  also  many  others  of  less  note.  The  principal  part 
of  the  Great  Osage  have  always  resided  tt  their  villages,  on 
the  Osage  river,  since  they  have  been  known  to  the  inhabi- 
tants of  Louisiana;  About  three  years  since,  nearly  one 


of  this  nation,  headed  by  their  chief  the  Biglrack,  em- 
igrated to  throe  forks  of  the  Arkansas;  near  which,  and  on 
its  north  side,  they  established  a  village,  where  they  now 
reside.  The  Liitle  Osage  formerly  resided  on  the  south 
west  side  of  the  Missouri,  near  the  mouth  of  Grand  river; 
but,  being  reduced  by  continual  warfare  with  their  neighbors, 
.were  compelled  to  seek  the  protection  of  the  Great  Osage; 
near  whom  they  now  reside. 

KANSAS. — The  limits  of  the  country  they  claim,  is  not 
known.  The  country  in  which  they  reside,  and  from  thence 
to  the  Missouri  is  a  delightful  one,  and  generally  well  water- 
ed, and  covered  with  excellent  timber;  they  hunt  to  the  up- 
per part  of  Kansas  and  Arkansas  rivers;  their  trade -may  be 
expected  to  increase  with  proper  management.  At  present 
they  are  a  dissolute,  lawless  banditti;  frequently  p'under 
their  traders  and  commit  depredations  on  persons  ascending 
and  descending  the  Missouri  river;  population  rather  increas- 
ing. The  people,  as  well  as  the  Great  and  Little  Csa^es, 
are  stationary,  at  their  villages,  from  about  the  15th  of 
March  to  the  15th  of  May,  and- again  from  the  15th  of  Au- 
gust to  the  15th  of  October;  the  Balance  of  the  year  is  appro- 
priated to  hunting.  They  cultivate  cora,  &c. 

OTTOES. — They  have  no.  idea  of  an  exclusive  possession 
of  any  country;  nor  do  they  assign  themselves  any  limits. — 
I  do  not  believe  that  they  would  object  to  the  introduction  of 
any  well  disposed  Indians;  they  treat  the  traders  with  res- 
pect and  hospitality,  generally.  In  their  occupations:  of  hun- 
ting and  cultivation,  they  are  the  same  with  the  Kansas  and 
Osage.  They  hunt  on  the  Saline  and  Nimmehaw  rivers, 
and  west  of  them  in  the  plains.  The  country  in  which  they 
hunt  lies  well;  it  is  extremely  fertile  and  well  watered;  that 
part  of  it  which  borders  on  Nimmehaw  and  Missouri  posses- 
ses a  good  portion  of  timber;  pupulation  rather  increasing. 
They  have  always  resided  near  the  place  their  village  is  sit- 
uated, and  are  the  descendants  of  the  Missouris. 

MISSOURIS. — These  are  the  remnant  of  the  most  numer- 
ous nation  inhabiting  the  Missouri,  when  first  known  to  the 
French.  Their  ancient  and  principal  village  was  situated. 


in  an  extensive  and  fertile  plain,  on  the  north  bank  of  the 
Missouri,  just  below  the  entrance  of  the  Grand  river.  Re- 
peated attacks  of  the  small-pox,  together  with  their  war  with 
the  Saukees  and  Uenards,  has  reduced  them  to  their  present 
state  of  dependence  on  the  Ottoes,  with  whom  they  reside, 
as  well  in  their  village,  as  on  their  hunting  excursions.  The  ' 
Ottoes  view  them  as  their  inferiors,  and  sometimes  treat 
them  amiss.  These  people  are  the  real  proprietors  of  an  ex- 
tensive and  fertile  country  lying  on  the  Missouri,  above  their 
ancient  village  for  a  considerable  distance,  and  as  low  as  the 
mouth  of  the  Osage  river,  and  thence  to  the  Mississippi. 

PANIAS.-— With  respect  to  their  idea  of  the  possession  'of 
soil,  it  is  similar  to  that  of  the  Ottoes,  they  hunt  on  the 
south  side  of  the  river  Platte,  higher  up.  and  on  the  head  of 
the  Kansas.  A  great  proportion  of  this  country  is  open 
plains,  interspersed,  however,  with  groves  of  timber,  which 
are  most  generally  found  in  the  vicinity  oi  the  water-courses. 
It  is  generally  fertile  and  well  watered;  lies  level,  and  free  of 
stone.  They  have  resided  in  the  country  which  they  now 
inhabit,  since  they  were  known  to  the  whites.  Their  trade 
is  a  valuable  one;  from  the  large  proportion  of  beaver  and  ot- 
ter which  they  furnish;  and  it  may  be  expected  yet  to  in- 
crease, as  those  animals  are  still  abundant  in  their  country. 
The  periods  of  their  residence  at  their  village  and  hunting, 
are  similar  to  the  Kansas  and  Usages.  Their  population  is 
increasing.  They  are  friendly  and  hospitable  to  all  white 
persons;  pay  great  respect  and  deference  to  theie  traders,  with 
whom  they  are  punctual  in  their  payment  of  their  debts. 

PANIAS  REPUBLICANS. — Are  a  branch  of  the  Pania  Proper, 
or,  as  they  are  frequently  termed,  the  Big  Paunch.  About 
ten  years  since  they  withdrew  themselves  from  the  mother 
naiton,  and  established  a  village  on  a  large  northwardly 
branch  of  the  Kansas,  to  which  they  have  given  name;  they 
afterwards  subdivided  and  lived  in  different  parts  of  the 
country  on  the  waters  of  Kansas,  they  rejoined  the  Panias 
Proper  last  spring.  What  has  been  said  with  respect  to  the 
Panias  Proper  is  applicable  on  the  Republican  river,  which 
is  better  stocked  with  timber  than  that  hunted  by  the  Pa- 


PANIAS  Lours  OR  WOLVES. — These  are  also  a  branch  of 
the  Panias  Proper,  who  separated  themselves  from  that  na- 
tion many  years  since,  and  established  themselves  on  a  north 
branch  of  the  river  Platte,  to  which  their  name  was  also  giv- 
en; these  people,  have  likewise  no  idea  of  an  exclusive  right 
to  any  portion  of  that  country.  They  hunt  on  the  Wolf  riv- 
er above  their  village,  and  on  the  river  Platte  above  the 
mouth  of  that  river.  This  country  is  very  similar  to  that 
of  the  river  Panias  Proper,  though  there  is  an  extensive  body 
of  fertile  well  timbered  land  between  the  Wolf  river  belovr 
their  village  and  the  river  Corn  de  Cerf,  or  Rlkhorn  river — 
They  cultivate  corn,  beans,  &c.  The  particulars  related  of 
the  other  Panias  are  also  applicable  to  them. 

MAHAS. — They  have  no  idea  of  exclusive  possession  of 
soil.  About  ten  years  since,  they  boasted  of  seven  hundred 
warriors.  They  have  lived  in  a  village,  on  the  west  bank 
of  the  Missouri;  two  hundred  and  thirty-six  miles  above  the 
mouth  of  the  river  Platte,  where  they  cultivated  corn,  beans, 
and  melons:  they  were  warlike,  end  the  terror  of  their  neigh- 
bors. In  the  summer  and  autumn  of  1802,  they  were  visi- 
ted by  the  small-pox,  which  reduced  their  numbers  to  some- 
thing less  than  three  hundred;  they  burnt  their  village,  and 
have  became  a- wandering  nation,  deserted  by  the  traders, 
and  the  consequent  deficiency  of  arms  and  ammunition  has 
invited  frequent  agrcss ions  from  their  neighbors,  which  have 
tended  to  reduce  them  still  further.  They  rove  principally 
on  the  waters  of  the  river  Q,uicurre,  or  Kapid  river. 

PONCARS. — The  remnant  of  a  nation  once  respectable  in 
point  of  numbers.  They  formerly  resided  on  a  branch  of 
the  Red  river  of  lake  Winnipie;  being  oppressed  by  the  Si- 
oux, they  removed  to  the  west  eide  of  tho  Missouri,  on  Pon- 
car  river,  where  they  built  and  fortified  a  village,  and  remain- 
ed some  years:  but  being  purged  by  tiieir  ancient  enemies 
the  Sioux,  and  reduced  by  continual  wars,  they  have  joined 
and  no\V  reside  with  the  Mali^s,  whose  language  they  speak 

RICARS. — Are  the  remains  of  ten  large  tribes  of  Panias, 
who  have  been  reduced  by  the  small-pox  and  the  Sioux  to 
the  present  number.  They  live  in  fortified,  villages,  and 



hunt  immediately  in  their  neighborhood.  The  country  around 
them,  in  every  direction  for  several  hundred  miles,  is  entire- 
ly bare  of  timber,  except  on  the  watercourses  and  steep  de- 
clivities of  hills,  where  it  is  sheltered  from  the  ravages  of 
fire.  The  land  is  tolerably  well  watered,  and  lies  well  for 
cultivation.  The  remains  of  the  villages  of  these  people  are 
to  be  seen  on  many  parts  of  the  Missouri,  from  the  mouth  qf 
Tetone  river  to  the  Mandans.  They  claim  no  land  except 
that  on  which  their  villages  stand,  and  the  fields  which  they 

cultivate.     The  Tetons  claim  the  country  around  them 

They  are  the  oldest  inhabitants,  and  may  properly  be  called 
the  farmers  or  tenants  at  will  of  that  lawless,  savage  and  ra- 
pacioas  race  the  Sioux  Teton,  who  rob  them  of  their  horses, 
plunder  their  gardens  and  fields,  and  murder  them 
without  opposition.  If  these  people  were  freed  from  the  op- 
pression of  the  Tetons  their  trade  would  increase  rappidly, 
and  might  be  extended  to  a  considerable  amount.  They 
maintain  a  partial  trade  with  their  oppressors,  the  Tetons, 
to  whom  they  barter  horses,  mules,  corn,  beans,  and  a  spe- 
cies of  tobacco,  which  they  cultivate;  and  receive  in  return 
guns,  ammunition,  kettles,  axes,  and  other  articles  which  the 
Tetons' obtain  from  the  Yanktons  of  the  North,  and  Sissa- 
tones,  who  trade  with  Mr.  Cameron,  on  the  river  St.  Peters- 
Thcse  horses  and  mules  the  Ricaras  obtain  from  their  western 
neighbors,  who  visit  them  frequently  for  the  purpose  of  traf- 

MANDANS. — These  are  the  most  friendly,  well  disposed  In- 
dians inhabiting  the  Missouri.  They  are  brave,  humane, 
and  hospitable.  About  twenty-five  years  since  they  lived  in 
six  villages,  about  forty  miles  below  their  present  villages, 
on  both  sides  of  the  Missouri.  Repeated  visitations  of  the 
small-pox,  aided  by  frequuent  attacks  of  the  Sioux,  have  re- 
duced them  to  their  present  number.  They  claim  no  par- 
ticular tract  of  country.  They  live  in  fortified  villages, 
hunt  immediately  in  their  neighborhood,  and  cultivate  corn, 
beans,  squashes,  and  tobacco,  which,  form  articles  of  traffic 
with  their  neighbors  the  Assiniboins:  they  also  barter  horsea 
with  Assiniboins  for  arms,  ammunition,  axes,  kettles  and 
other  articles  of  European  manufacture,  which  these  last  ob 


tain  from  the  British  establishments  on  the  Assinniboin  river. 
The  articles  which  they  thus  obtain  from  the  Assinniboins, 
and  the  British  traders  who  visit  them,  they  again  exchange 
for  horses  and  leather  tents  with  the  Crow  Indians,  Chyen- 
nes,  Wetcpahatoes,  Kiawae,  Kanenavieh,  Stacton,  and  Ca- 
taka,  who  visit  them  occasionally  for  the  purpose  of  traffic. 
AHWAHHAWAY  — They  differ  but  very  little,  in  any  partic- 
ular, from  the  Mandans,  their  neighbors,  except  in  the  unjust 
war  which  they,  as  well  as  the  Minetares,  prosecute  against 
the  defenceless  Snake  Indians,  from  which,  I  believe,  it  will 
be  difficult  to  induce  them  to  desist.  They  claim  to  have 
once  been  a  part  of  the  Crow  Indians,  whom  they  still  ac- 
knowledge as  relations.  They  have  resided  on  the  Missouri 
as  long  as  their  tradition  will  enable  them  to  inform. 

MINETARES. — They  claim  no  particular  country,  nor  do 
they  assign  themselves  any  limits:  their  tradition  relates  that 
they  have  always  resided  at  their  present  villages.  In  their 
customs,  manners,  and  dispositions,  they  are  similar  to  the 
Mandans  and  Ahwahhaways.  The  scarcity  of  fuel  induces 
them  to  reside,  during  the  cold  season,  in  large  bands,  in 
camps,  on  different  parts  of  the  Missouri,  as  high  up  that  riv- 
er as  the  mouth  of  the  river  Yellow  Stone,  and  west  of  their 
villages,  about  the  Turtle  mountain.  I  believe  that  these 
people,  as  well  as  the  Mandans  and  Ahwahhaways,  might  be 
prevailed  on  to  remove  to  the  mouth  of  Yellow  Stone  river, 
provided  an  establishment  is  made  at  that  place.  They  have 
as  yet  furnished  scarcely  any  beaver,  although  the  country 
they  hunt  abounds  with  them;  the  lodges  of  these  animals 
are  to  be  seen  within  a  rnile  of  their  villages.  These  people 
have  also  suffered  considerably  by  the  small-pox;  but  have 
successfully  resisted  the  attack  of  the  Sioux. 

SAUKIES  AND  RENARDS,  OR  FOXES. — These  nations  are  so 
perfectly  consolidated,  that  they  may,  in  fact,  be  considered 
as  one  nation  only.  They  speak  the  same  language;  they 
formerly  resided  on  the  east  side  of  the  Mississippi,  and  et'iH 
claim  the  land  on  that  side  of  the  river,  from  the  mouth  of 
the  Wisconsin  to  the  Illinois  river,  and  eastward  toward  lake 
Michigan;  but  to  what  particular  boundary,  I  am  not  inform  - 


ed;  they  also  claim,  by  conquest,  the  whole  of  the  country 
belonging  to  the  ancient  Missouris,  which  forme  one  of  the 
most  valuable  portions  of  Louisiana,  but  what  .proportion  of 
this  territory  they  are  willing  to  assign  to  the  Ayouways, 
who  alsoclaim  a  part  of  it,  I  do  not  know,  as  they  are  at  war 
with  the  Sioux,  who  live  north  and  north  west  of  them,  ex- 
cept the  Yankton  Ahnah.  Their  boundaries  in  that  quarter 
are  also  undefined:  their  trade  would  become  much  more  val- 
uable if  peace  was  established  between  them  and  the  nations 
west  of  the  Missouri,  with  whom  they  are  at  war;  the  pop- 
ulation has  remained  nearly  the  same  for  many  years;  they 
raise  an  abundance  of  corn,  beans,  and  melons;  they  some- 
times hunt  in  the  country  west  of  them,  towards  the  Missouri; 
but  their  principal  hunting  is  on  both  sides  of  the  Mississip- 
pi, from  the  mouth  of  the  Wisconsin  to  the  mouth  of  the  Illi 
nois  river.  These  people  are  extremely  friendly  to  the 
whites,  and  seldom  injure  their  traders;  but  they  are  most 
implacable  enemies  to  the  Indian  nations  with  whom  they  are 
at  war.  To  them  is  justly  attributable  the  almost  entire  des- 
truction of  the  Missouris,  the  Illinois,  Cahokias,  Kaskaskias, 
and  Piorias. 

WAPATONE — Claim  the  country  in  which  they  rove  on 
the  north  west  side  of  the  river  St.  Peters,  from  their  village 
to  the  mouth  of  the  Chippeway  river,  and  thence  north 
eastwardly  towards  the  head  of  the  Mississippi,  including 
the  Crow-wing  river.  Their  lands  are  fertile  and  gen- 
erally well  timbered*  They  are  only  stationary  while  their 
traders  are  with  them,  which  is  from  the  beginning  of  Octo- 
ber to  the  last  of  March.  Their  trade  is  supposed  to  be  at 
its  greatest  extent.  They  treat  their  traders  with  respect, 
and  seldom  attempt  to  rob  them.  This,  as  well  as  other  Si- 
oux bands,  actc,  in  all  respects,  as  independly  of  each  other 
.as  if  they  were  a  aistinct  nation. 

MINDAWARCARTON. — This  is  the  only  band  of  Sioux  that 
cultivates  corn,  beans,  &c.;  and  these  even  cannot  properly 
be  termed  a  stationary  people.  They  live  in  tents  of  dressed 
leather,  which  they  transport  by  means  of  horses  and  dogs, 
and  rambje  from  place  to  place  during  the  greater  part  of  the 


year.  They  are  friendly  to  their,  traders;  but  the  inveterate 
enemies  to  such  as  supply  their  enBmies,  the  Chippeways, 
with  merchandise.  They  also  claim  the  country  in  which 
they  hunt,  commencing  at  the  entrance  of  the  river  St.  Pe- 
ters, and  extending  apwards.  on  both  sides  of  the  Mississip- 
pi river,  to  the  mouth  of  the  Crow  river. 

WAHPACOOTA. — They  rove  in  the  country  south-west  of 
the  river  St.  Peters,  from  a  place  called  the  Hardwood*  to 
the  mouth  of  Yellow  Medicine  river:  never  stationary  but 
when  their  traders  are  with  them;  and  this  does  not  happen 
at  any  regular  or  fixed  point.  At  present  they  treat  traders 
tolerably  well.  Their  trade  cannot  be  expected  to  increase 

SISSATONE. — They  claim  the  country  in  which  they  rove, 
embracing  the  upper  portions  of  Red  river,  of  lake  Winni- 
pie,  and  St.  Peters:  it  is  a  level  country,  intersected  with 
many  small  lakes;  the  land  is  fertile  and  free  of  stone;  the 
majority  of  it  open  plaias.  This  country  abounds  more  in 
valuable  fur  animals,  beaver,  otter,  and  martin,  than  any  por- 
tion of  Louisiana  yet  known.  This  circumstance  furnishes 
the  Sisatones  with  the  means  of  purchasing  more  merchan- 
dise, in  proportion  to  their  number,  than  any  nation  in  this 
quarter.  A  great  proportion  of  this  merchandise  is  reserved 
by  them  for  their  trade  with  the  Tetens,  whom  they  annually 
meet  at  some  point  previously  agreed  on,  upon  the  waters  of 
James  river,  in  the  month  of  May.  This  Indian  fair  is  fre- 
quently attended  by  the  Yanktons  of  the  north  and  Ah- 

YANKTONS  OF  THE  NORTH.— This  band  although  they 
purchase  a  smaller  quantity  of  merchandise  than  the  Sissa- 
tonss,  still  appropriate  a  considerable  proportion  of  what  they 
do  obtain  in  a  similar  manner  with  that  mentioned  of  the 
Sissatones  This  trade,  as  small  as  it  may  appear,  has  been 
sufficient  to  render  the  Tetons  independent  of  the  trade  of 
the  Missouri,  in  a  great  measure,  and  has  furnised  them  with 
the  means,  not  ofily  of  distressing  and  plundering  the  tra- 
ders of  the  Missouri,  but  also,  of  plundering  and  massacre- 
ing  the  defenceless  savages  of  the  Missouri,  from  the  mouth 


of  the  river  Platte  to  the  Mine  tares,  and  west  to  the  Rocky 

YANKTONS  AHNAH. — These  are  the  best  disposed  Sioux 
who  rove  on  the  banks  of  the  Missouri,  and  these  even  will 
not  suffer  any  trader  to  ascend  the  river,  if  they  can  possibly 
avoid  it:  they  have,  heretofore,  invariably  arrested  the  pro- 
gress of  all  those  they  have,  met  with,  and  generally  compel- 
led them  to  trade  at  the  prices,  nearly,  which  they  them- 
selves think  proper  to  fix  on  their  merchandise:  they  seldom 
commit  any  further  acts  of  violence  on  the  whites.  They 
sometimes  visit  the  river  Demoin,  where  a  partial  trade  has 
been  carried  on  with  them,  for  a  few  years  past,  by  a  Mr. 
Crawford.  Their  trade,  if  well  regulated  might  be  extreme- 
ly valuable. 


Tetons   Bois  Bride — Tetons    Okandandas — Tetons  Minna- 
kineazzo — Tetons  Sahone. 

These  are  the  vilest  miscreants  of  the  savage  race,  and 
must  ever  remain  the  pirates  of  the  Missouri,  until  such 
measure's  are  pursued,  by  our  government,  as  will  make  them 
ibel  a  dependence  on  its  will  for  their  supply  of  merchandise. 
Unless  these  people  are  reduced  to  order>  by  coercive  measures, 
I  am  ready  to  pronounce  that  the  citizens  of  the  United 
States  can  never  enjoy  but  partially  the  advantages  which 
the  Missouri  presents.  Relying  on  a  regular  supply  of  mer- 
chandise, through  the  channel  of  the  river  St.  Peters,  they 
view  with  contempt  the  merchants  of  the  Missouri,  whom 
they  never  fail  to  plunder,  when  in  their  power.  .  Persua- 
sion or  advice,  with  them  is  viewed  as  supplication,  and  on- 
ly tends  to  inspire  them  with  contempt  for  those  who  offer 
either.  The  tamenass  with  which  the  traders  of  Missouri 
have  heretofore  submitted  to  their  rapacity,  has  tended  not  a 
little  to  inspire  them  with  contempt  for  the  white  persons 
who  visit  them  through  that  channel.  A  prevalent  idea  a- 
mongthem,  and  one  which  they  make  the  rule  of  their  con- 
duct, is,  that  the  more  ill  they  treat  the  traders,  the  greater 
quantity  of  merchandise  they  will  bring  them,  and  that  they 



will  thus  obtain  the  articles  they  wish  on  better  terras.  They 
have  endeavored  to  inspire  the  Ricaras  with  similar  senti- 
ments, but,  happily,  without  any  considerable  effect.  They 
claim,  jointly  with  the  other  band  of  the  Sioux,  all  the  coun- 
try lying  within  the  following  limits,  viz.  beginning  at  the 
confluence  of  the  Demoin  and  Missippi,  thence  up  the  West 
side  of  the  Mississippi  to  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Peters  river, 
thence  on  both  sides  of  the  Missippi  to  the  rnouth  of  Crow- 
wing  river,  and  upwards  with  that  stream,  including  the  wa- 
ters of  the  upper  portion  of  Red  river,  of  lake  Winnipie, 
and  down  the  same  nearly  to  Pembenar  river,  thence  a  south- 
westerly course  to  intersect  the  Missouri  at  or  near  the  Man- 
dans,  and  with  that  stream  downwards  to  the  entrance  of 
the  Warrecunne  creek,  thence  passing  the  Missouri  it  goes 
to  inclue  the  lower  portion  of  the  river  Chyanne,  all  the  wa- 
ters of  White  river  and  river  Teton,  includes  the  lower 
portion  of  the  river  Quicurre,  aad  returns  to  the  Missouri, 
and  with  that  stream  downwards  to  the  mouth  of  Wappidon 
river,  and  thence  eastwardly  to  intersect  the  Mississippi  at 
the  beginning. 

CHYANNES. — They  arc  the  remnant  of  a  nation  once  res- 
pectable in  point  of  number:  fomrcrly  resided  on  a  branch  of 
the  Red  river  of  Lake  Winnipie,  which  still  bears  their 
name.  Being  oppressed  by  the  Sioux,  they  removed  to  the 
west  side  of  the  Missouri,  about  fifteen  miles  below  the  mouth 
of  Warrecunne  creek,  where  they  built  and  fortified  a  vil- 
lage, but  being  pursued  by  their  ancient  enemies  the  Sioux, 
they  fled  to  the  Black-hills,  about  the  head  of  the  Chyanne 
river,  where  they  wander  in  quest  of  the  buffaloe,  having  no 
fixed  residence.  They  do  not  cultivate. 

WETEPAHATOES. — They  are  a  wandering  nation,  inhabit 
an  open  country,  and  ra:se  a  great  number  of  horses  which 
they  barter  to  the  Ricaras,  Mandars,  &c.  for  articles  of  Eu- 
ropean manufacture.  They  are  a  well  disposed  people,  and 
might  be  readily  induced  to  visit  the  trading  establishments 
on  the  Missouri.  From  the  animals  their  country  produces, 
their  trade  would,  no  doubt,  become  valuable. 

DOTAMES. — The  informal  ian  I  possess,  with  respect  to 

136  JOURNAL  OF  I 

this  nation,  is  derived  from  Indian  information:  they  are  said' 
to  be  a  wandering  nation,  inhabiting  an  open  country,  and 
who  raise  a  great  number  of  horses  and  rnules.  They  are 
a  friendly,  well  disposed  people,  and  might,  from-the  position 
of  their  country,  be  easily  induced  to  visit  an  establishment 
on  the  Missouri,  about  the  rnouth  of  Chyanne  river.  They 
have  not,  as  yet,  visited  the  Missouri. 

CASTAHANA. — What  has  been  said  of  the  Dotames  is  ap- 
plicable to  these  people,  except  that  they  trade  principally 
with  the  Crow  Indians,  and  they  would  most  probably  prefer 
visiting  an  establishment  on  the  Yellow  Stone  river,  or  at 
its  mouth  on  the  Missouri. 

CROW  INDIANS. — -These  people  are  divided  into  four  bands, 
called  by  themselves  Ahah-ar-ro-pir-no-pah,  Noo-taa,  Pa- 
rees-car,  and  E-liart  sar.  They  annually  visit  the  Mandans, 
Menetares,  and  Ahwahhaways,  to  whom  they  barter  horses, 
mules,  leather  lodges,  and  many  articles  of  Indian  apparel, 
for  wich  they  receive  in  return,  guns,  ammunition,  axes,  ket- 
tles, awls,  and  other  European  manufactures.  When  they 
return  to  their  country,  they  are  in  turn  visited  by  the  Paunch 
and  Snake  Indians,  to  whom  they  barter  most  of  the  articles 
they  have  obtained  from  the  nations  on  the  Missouri,  for  hor- 
ses and  mules,  of  which  those  nations  have  a  greater  abun- 
dance than  themselves.  They  also  obtain  of  the  Snake  In- 
dians, bridle-bits,  and  blankets,  and  some  other  articles  which 
those  Indians  purchase  from  from  the  Spaniards. 

PAUNCH  INDIANS. — These  are  said  to  be  a  peaceable,  well 
disposed  nation.  Their  country  is  a  variegated  one,  consist- 
ing of  mountains,  valleys,  plains,  and  woodlands,  irregularly 
interspersed.  They  might  be  induced  to  visit  the  Missouri, 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Yellow  Stone  river;  and  from  the  great 
abundance  of  valuable  fured  animals,  which  their  country, 
well  as  that  of  the  Crow  Indians,  produces,  their  trade  must 
become  extremly  valuable.  They  are  a  roving  people,  and 
have  no  idea  of  exclusive  right  to  the  soil. 



M.  Manetopa. — Osecgah. — Mahtopanato. 

Are  the  descendants  of  the  Sioux,  and  partake  of  their  ' 
turbulent  and  faithless  disj>osition:  they  frequently  plunder, 
and  sometimes  murder  their  own  traders.  .  The  name  by 
which  this  nation  is  generally  known  was  borrowed  from  the 
Chippeways,  who  call  them  Assiimiboan,  which  litterally 
translated,  is  Stone  Sioux,  hence  the  name  of  Stone  Indians, 
by  which  they  are  sometimes  called.  The  country  in  which 
they  rove  is  almost  entirely  uncovered  with  timber;  lies  ex- 
tremely level;  and  is  but  badly  watered  in  many  parts;  the 
Innd,  however,  is  tolerable  fertile  and  unincumbered  witli 
stone.  They  might  be  induced  to  trade  at  the  river  Yellow 
Stone;  but  I  do  not  think  that  their  trade  promises  mush. — 
Their  numbers  continue  about  the  same.  These  bands,  like 
Sioux,  act  entirely  independent  of  of  each  other,  although 
they  claim  a  national  affinity,  and  never  make  war  on  each 

CHIPPEWAYS,  OF  LEACH  LAKE. — Claim  the  country  on 
both  sides  of  the  Mississippi,  from  the  mouth  of  the  Crow  wing 
river  to  its  source,  arid  extending  west  of  the  Mississipi  to 
the  lands  claimed  by  the  Sioux,  with  whom  they  contend  for 
dominion.  They  claim,  also,  east  of  the  Mississipi,  the 
country  extending  as  far  as  lake  Superior,  including  the  wa- 
ters of  the  St.  Louis.  This  countiy  is  thickly  covered  with 
timber  generally;  lies  level,  and  generally  fertile,  though  a 
considerable  proportion  of  it  is  intersected  and  brokon  up  by 
email  lakes,  morasses  and  small  swamps,  particularly  about 
the  heads  of  the  Mississippi  and  river  St.  Louis.  They  do 
not  cultivate,  but  live  principally  on  the  wiid  rice,  which  they 
procure  in  great  abundance  on  the  borders  of  Leach  Lake 
and  the  banks  of  the  Mississippi. 

CHIPPEWAYS  OF  RED  LAKE. — Claim  the  country  about 
Red  lake  and  Red  lake  river,  as  far  as  the  Red  river  of  lake 
Winnipie,  beyond  which  last  river  they  contend  with  the 
Sioux  for  territory.  This  is  a  low  level  country,  and  gener- 
ally thickly  covered  with  timber,  interupted  with  many 



LEWIS  AND  CL\RKE.  13:> 

swamps  and  morasses.  This,  as  well  as  the  other  bands  of 
liippeways,  are  esteemed  the  best  hunters  of  the  north  west 
imtry;  but  from  the  long  residence  of  this  band  in  the  counrty 
ey  now  inhabit,  game  is  becoming  scarce;  therefore,  their 
de  is  supposed  to  be  at  its  greatest  extent. 
OF  RIVER  PEMBENA. — These  people  formerly  resided  on 
he  east  side  of  the  Mississippi,  at  Sand  lake,  but  were  indu- 
ced, by  the  north  west  company,  to  remove,  about  two  years 
since,  to  the  river  Pembon^.  They  do  not  claim  the  lands 
on  which  they  hunt.  The  country  is  level  and  the  soil 
good.  The  west  side  of  the  river  is  principally  prairies  or 
open  plains;  on  the  east  side  there  if  a  greater  proportion  of 
timber.  .  Their  trade  at  present  is  a  very  valuable  one. 

ALCONQIHNS  OF  RAINY  LAKE. — With  the  precise  limits 
of  country  they  claim,  I  am  not  informed.  They  live  very 
much  detached,  in  small  parties.  The  country  they  inhabit 
is  but  an  indifferent  one;  it  has  bean  much  hunted,  and  the 
game  of  course  nearly  exhausted.  They  are  well  disposed 
towards  the  white*.  Their  number  is  to  decrease. 

OF  PORTAGE  I)E  PRAIRIE. — These  people  inhabit  a  low 
flat,  marshy  country,  mostly  covered  with  timber  and  well 
stocked  with  game.  They  are  emigrants  from  the  lake  of 
the  Woods  and  the  country  east  of  it,  who  were  introduced, 
some  years  since,  by  the  North  West  traders  in  order  to  hunt 
the  country  on  the  lower  parts  of  Red  river,  which  then 
abounded  in  a  variety  of  animals  of  the  fur  kind. 

CIIRITENOES. — They  are  a  wandering  nation;  do  not  cul- 
tivate, nor  claim  any  particular  tract  of  country.  They  are 
well  disposed  towards  the  whites,  and  treat  their  traders  with 
respect.  The  country  in  which  they  rove  is  generally  open 
plains,  but  in  some  parts,  particularly  about  the  head  of  the 
Assinniboin  river,  it  is  marshy  and  tolerably  well  furnished 
with  timber,  as  are  also  the  Fort  Dauphin  mountains,  to 
which  they  sometimes  resort.  From  the  quantity  of  beaver 
in  their  country,  they  onghtto  furnish  more  of  that  article 
than  they  do  at  present. 

ALIATONS  SNAKE  INDIANS. — These  are  o  numerous^  and 
well  disposed  people,  inhabiting  ft  woody  and  mountainous 


country;  they  are  divided  into  three  large  trribes,  who  wan- 
der at  a  considerable  distance  frdm  each  other,  and  are 'called 
by  themselves  So-so-na,  So-so'bubar,  and  La-kar.  r[  hese  are 
again  sub-divided  into  smaller  though  independent  bands, 
the  names  of  which  I  have  not  yet  learnt;  they  raise  a  num- 
ber of  horses  and  mules,  which  they  trade  with  the  Crow  In- 
dians, or  are  stolen  by  the  nations  to  the  east  of  them.  They 
maintain  a  partial  trade  with  the  Spaniards,  from  whom  they 
obtain  many  articles  of  cloathing  and  ironmongery,  but  no 
warlike  implements. 

OF  THE  WEST. — These  people  also  inhabit  a  mountainous 
country,  and  sometimes  venture  in  the  plains  east  of  the 
Rocky  mountains,  about  the  head  of  the  Arkansas  riv- 
er. They  hare  no* more  intercourse  with  the  Spaniards  of 
New  Mexico,  than  the  Sr;ake  Indians.  They  are  said  to  be 
very  numerous  and  warlike,  but  are  badly  armed.  The 
Spaniards  fear  these  people,  arid  therefore  take  the  precau- 
tion not  to  furnish  them  with  any  warlike  implements.  In 
their  present  unarmed  state,  they  frequently  commit  hostili- 
ties on  the  Spaniards,  They  raise  a  great  many  horses. 

LA  PLAYES. — They  inhabit  the  rich  plains,  from  the  head 
of  the'Arkansas,  embracing  the  heads  of  Red  river,  and  ex- 
tending with  the  mountains  s.nd  high  lands  eastwardly  as  far 
as  is  known  towards  the  gulfaf  Mexico.  They  possess  no 
fire  arms,  but  are  war-like  and  brave.  They  are  as  well  as 
the  other  Aliatans,  a  wandering  people.  Their  country 
abounds  in  wild  horses,  beside  great  numbers  which  they 
raise  themselves,  Thase  people,  and  the  West  Aliatans, 
might  be  induced  to  trade  with  us  on  the  upper  part  of  the 
Arkansas  river.' 

PANIA  PIQUE. — These  people  have  no  intercourse  with 
the  inhabitants  of  the  Illinois;  the  information,  therefore, 
which  I  have  been  enabled  to  obtain  with  respect  to  them,  is 
very  imperfect.  They  were  formerly  by  the  name  of  the 
White  Panias,  and  are  of  the  family  with  the  Panias  of  the 
river  Platte.  They  are  said  to  be  a  well  disposed  people, 
and  inhabit  a  very  fertile  country;  certain  it  is,  that  they  en- 
jay  a  delightful  climate. 


PADUCAS  — This  once  powerful  nation  lias,  apparently  en- 
tirely disappeared;  every  inquiry  I  have  made  after  them  has 
proved  ineffectual.  Ip  the  year  1724,  they  resided  in  sev- 
eral villages  on  the  head  of  the  Kansas  river,  and  could,  at 
that  time,  bring  upwards  of  two  thousand  men  into  the  field. 
(See  Monsieur  Dupratz  History  of  Louisiana,  page  71,  and 
the  Map  attached  to  that  work.)  The  information  that  I 
have  received  is,  that  being  oppressed  by  the  nations  residing 
on  the  Missouri,  they  removed  to  the  upper  part  of  the  river 
Platte,  where  they  afterwards  had  but  little  intercourse  with 
the  whites.  They  seem  to  have  given  name  to  the  northern 
branch  of  the  river,  which  is  still  called  the  Paducas  Fork. 
The  most  probable  conjecture  is,  that  being  still  further  re- 
duced, they  have  divided  into  small  wandering  bands,  which 
assumed  the  names  of  the  sub-divisions  of  the  Paducas  na- 
nation,  and  are  known  to  us  at  present  under  the  appellation 
,of  Wetepahatoes,  Kiawas,  Kansnavish,  Katteka,  Dotame, 
&c.  who  still  inhabit  the  country  to  which  the  Paducas  ars 
said  to  have  removed. 


Of  the  several  Indian,  tribes  in  Louisiana,  south  of  ihe   Ar- 
kansas river,  and  between  the  Mississippi  and  river  Grand. 

CADDOQUES. — They  live  about  thirty-five  miles  west  of  the 
main  branch  of  Red  river,  on  a  bayou  or  creek  called  by  them 
Sodo,  which  is  navigable  for  perOgues  only  within  about  eix 
miles  of  their  village,  and  that  only  in  the  rainy  season. — 
They  are  distant  from  NatchiUnhes  about  one  hundred  aad 
twenty  miles,  the  nearest  route  by  land,  and  in  nearly  a 
north  west  direction.  They  have  lived  where  they  now  do 
only  five  years.  The  first  year  they  moved  there,  the  small 
pox  got  amongst  them  and  destroyed  nearly  one  half  of  them; 
it  was  in  the  winter  season,  and  they  practiced  plunging  in- 
to the  creek  on  the  first  appearance  of  the  eruption,  and  died 
in  a  few  hours.  Two  years  ago  they  had  the  measles,  of 
which  several  more  of  them  died.  They  formerly  lived  on 


the  south  bank  of  the  river,  by  the  course  of  the  river,  three 
hundred  and  seventy-five  miles  higher  up,  at  a  beautiful  prai- 
rie, which  haa  a  clear  lake  of  good  water  in  the  middle  of  it,    i 
surrounded  by  a  pleasant  and  fertile  country,  which  had  been 
the  residence  of  their  ancestors  from  time  immemorial. 

They  have  a  traditionary  tale  which  not  only  the  Caddos, 
but  half  a  dozen  other  smaller  nations  believe  in,  who  claim 
the  honor  of  being  descendants  of  the  same  family;  they  say, 
when  all  the  world  was  drowned  by  a  flood  that  inundated  the 
whole  country,  the  great  Spirit  placed  on  an  eminence  near 
this  lake,  one  family  of  Caddoqucs,  who  alone  were  saved; 
from  that  family  all  the  Indians  originated. 

The  French,  for  many  years  before  .Louisiana  was  trans- 
ferred  to  Spain,  had,  at  this  place,  a  fort  and  some  soldiers; 
several  French  families  were  likewise  settled  in  the  vicinity, 
where  they  had  erected  a  good  flour  mill  with  burr  stones 
brought  from  France.  These  French  families  continued  there 
tilJ  about  twenty-five  years  ago,  when  they  moved  down  and 
settled  at  Campti,  on  the  Red  river,  above  Natchitoches, 
where  they  now  live;  and  the  Indians  left  it  about  fourteen 
years  ago,  on  account  of  a  dreadful  sickness  that  visited  them. 
They  settled  on  the  river  nearly  opposite,  where  they  now 
live,  on  a  low  place,  but  were  driven  thence  on  account  of  its 
overflowing,  occasioned  by  a  jam  of  timber  choking  the  river 
at  a  point  below  them. 

The  whole  number  of  what  they  call  warriors  of  the  an- 
cient Caddo  nation,  is  now  reduced  to  about  one  hundred, 
who  are  looked  upon  somewhat  like  knights  of  Malta,  or 
some  distinguished  military  order.  They  are  brave,  despise 
danger  of  death,  and  boast  that  they  never  shed  white  man's 
blood.  Besides  these,  there  are  of  old  men  and  strangers 
who  live  among  them,  nearly  the  same  number;  but  there 
are  forty  or  fifty  more  women  than  men.  This  nation  has 
great  influence  over  the  Yattassees,  Nandakoes,  Nabadaches, 
Inies  or  Yatchies,  Nacogdoches,  Keycchies,  Adaize  and  Yat- 
chitoches,  who  all  speak  the  Caddo  language,  look  up  to  them 
as  their  fathers;  visit  and  intermarry  among  them,  and  join 
hem  in  all  their  wars. 


YATTASSEES. — They  live  on  Bayou  Pierre,  (or  Stony  creek) 
which  falls  into  Red  river,  western  division,  about  fifty  miles 
above  Natciiitoches.  Their  village  is  in  a  large  prairie  a- 
bcut  half  way  between  the  Caddoques  and  Natch  itolches  sur- 
rounded by  a  settlement  of  French  families.  The  Spanish 
government  at  present  exercise  jurisdiction  over  this  settle- 
ment, where  they  keep  a  guard  of  a  non-commissioned  officer 
and  tfighi;  soldiers. 

A  few  months  ago,  the  Caddo  chief  with  a  few  of  his 
young  men  were  coining  to  this  place  to  trade,  and  came  by 
that  way  which  is  the  usual  road.  The  Spanish  officer  of 
the  guard  threatened  to  stop  them  from  trading  with  the  Amer- 
icans, and  told  the  chief  if  ho  returned  that  way  with  the 
goods  he  should  take'  them  from  him;  the  chief  and  his  par- 
ty were  angry,  and  threatened  to  kill  the  whole  guard,  and 
told  them  that  road  had  been  always  theirs  and  that  if  the 
Spaniards  attempted  to  prevent  their  using  it  as  their  ances- 
tors had  always  done,  he  would  soon  make  it  a  bloody  road. 
He  came  here,  purchased  the  goods  he  wanted,  and  might 
have  returned  another  way  and  avoided  the  Spanish  guard, 
and  was  advised  to  do  so;  but  he  said  he  would  pass  by  them, 
and  let  them  attempt  to  stop  him  if  they  dared.  The  guard 
said  nothing  to  him  as  he  returned. 

This  settlement,  till  some  few  years  ago,  used  to  belong  to 
the  district  of  Natciiitoches,  and  ihe  rights  to  their  lands 
were  given  by  the  government  of  Louisiana,  before  it  was 
ceded  to  Spain.  It's  now  being  under  the  government  of 
Texas,  was  only  an  agreement  between  the  commandant  of 
Natchitoches  and  the  commandant  of  Nacogdoches.  The 
French  formerly  had  a  station  and  factory  there,  and  another 
on  the  Sabir.e  river,  neaily  one  hundred  miles  north-west 
from  the  Bayou  Pierre  settlement.  The  Yattassees  now  say, 
the  French  used  to  be  their  people,  and  now  the  Americans. 

But  of  the  ancient  Yattassees  there  are  but  eight  men  re- 
maining, and  twenty-five  women,  besides  children;  but  a 
numbor  of  men  of  other  nations  have  intermarried  with  them 
and  live  together.  I  paid  a  visit  at  their  village  last  sum- 
mer; there  were  about  forty  men  of  them  altogether:  their 
original  language  differs  from  any  other;  but  now,  all  speak 


Caddo.  They  live  on  rich  land,  raise  plenty  of  corn,  beans, 
pumpkins,  tobacco,  &c.  have  horses,  cattle,  hogs  and  poul- 

"  NANDAKOES. — They  live  on  the  Sabine  river,  sixty  or  sev- 
enty miles  to  the  westward  of  Yattassees,  near  where  the 
French  formerly  had  a  station  and  factory.  Their  language 
is  Caddo:  about  ten  men  only  of  them  remaining.  A  few 
years  ago  they  suffered  very  much  by  the  small-pox.  They 
consider  themselves  the  same  as  Caddoes,  with  whom  they 
intermarry,  and  are  occasionally,  visiting  one  another  in  the 
greatest  harmony:  have  the  same  manners,  customs  and  at- 

ADAIZE. — They  live  about  forty  miles  from  Natchitoches,, 
below  the  Yattassees,  onta  lake  called  Lac  Macedon,  which 
communicates  with  the  division  of  Red  river  that  passess  by 
Bayou  Pierre.     They  live  at  or  near  where  their  ancestors 
have  lived   from    time  immemorial.     They  being  the  near- j 
est  nation  to  the  old  Spanish  fort,  or  Mission  of  Adaize,  that 
place  was  named  after  them,  being  about  twenty  miles  from 
them,  to  the  south.     There  are  now  but  twenty  men  of  them  j 
remaining,  but  more  women.     Their  language  differs  from  .1 
all  others,  and  is  so  difficult  to  speak  or  understand,  that  ho  : 
nation  can  speak  ten  words  of  it;  but  they  all  speak  Caddo, 
and  most  of  them  French,  to  whom  they  were  always  attach-  | 
ed,  and  joined  them  against  tLd  Natchez  Indians.     After  the  | 
massacre  of  the  Natchez,  in   17(J8,  while  the  Spaniards  oc-1 
cupied  the  post  of  Adaize,  their  priests  took  much  pains  to-I 
proselyte  these  Indians  to  the  Roman  Catholic  religion,  but, 
I  am  informed,  were  totally  unsuccessful. 

ALICHE,  (commonly  pronounced  Eyeish.} — They  live  near 
Nacogdochesj  but  are  almost  extinct,  as  a  nation,  not  beingf 
more  than  twenty-five  souk  of  them  remaining^  four  years 
ago  the  small -pox  destroyed  a  greater  part  of  them.  They 
were  some  years  ago,  a  considerable  nation,  and  lived  on  a. 
Bayou  which  bears  their  name,  which  the  road  from  Nacag- 
doches crosses,  about  twelve  miles  west  of  Sabine  river,  on 
which  a  few  French  and  American  families  are  settled. — 
Their  native  language  is  spoken  by  no  other  nation,  but  they 


speak  and  understand  Caddo,  with  whom  they  are  in  amity, 
often  visiting  one  another. 

KEYS,  OR  KEYCIIIES. — They  live  on  the  east  bank  of 
Trinity  river,  a  small  distance  above  where  the  road  from 
Natchitoches  to  St.  Antonie  crosses  it.  There  are  of  them 
sixty  men:  have  their  peculiar  native  language,  but  mostly 
now  sneak  Caddo;  intermarry  with  them,  and  live  together 
in  much  harmony,  formerly  having  lived  near  them,  on  the 
head  waters  of  the  Sabine.  They  plant  corn,  and  some  oth- 
er vegetables. 

INIES,  OR  TACHIES. — From  the  latter  name  the  name  of 
the  province  of  Tachus  or  Taxus  is  derived.  The  Inies  live 
about  fifteen  miles  west  of  Natchitoches,  on  a  smaller  river  a 
branch  of  Sabine,  called  the  Natches.  T^by  are,  like  all 
their  neighbors,  diminishing;  but  have  now  eighty  men. — 
Their  ancestors,  for  a  longtime,  lived  where  they  now  do. 
Their  language  the  same  as  that  of  the  Caddoes,  with  whom 
they  are  in  great  amity.  These  Indians  have  'a  good  charac- 
ter, live  on  excellent  land,  and  raise  corn  to  sell. 

NABEDAOHES. — They  live  on  the  west  side  of  the   same 

river,  about  fifteen  miles  above  them;  have  about   the  same 

*  number  of  men;  speak  the  same  language;  live  on  the  best  of 

land;  raise  corn  in  plenty;  have  the  same  manners,  customs 

and  attachments. 

BEDIES. — They  are  on  the  Trinity  river,  about  eixty 
miles  to  the  southward  of  Nacogdoches;  have  one  hundred 
men;  are  good  hunters  for  deer,  which  are  ve*y  large,  and 
plenty  about  them;  plant,  and  make  good  crops  of  corn;  lan- 
guage differs  from  all  others,  but  speak  Caddo;  are  a  peacea- 
ble people,  and  have  an  excellent  character  for  their  honesty 
and  punctuality. 

ACCOCKESAWS. — Their  ancient  town  and  principal  place 
of  residence  is  on  the  west  side  of  Colerado  or  Rio  Rouge, 
about  two  hundred  miles  south-west  of  Nacogdoches,  but  of- 
ten change  their  place  of  residence  for  a  season;  being  near 
the  bay,  make  great  use  of  fiish,  oysters,  &c.— kill  a  great 
many  deer,  which  are  the  largest  and  fattest  in  the  province; 
and  their  country  is  universally  said  to* be  inferior  to  no  part 


of  the  province  in  soil,  growth  of  timber,  goodness  of  water, 
and  beauty  of  surface;  have  language  peculiar  to  themselves, 
but  have  a  mode  of  communication  by  dumb  signs,  which 
they  all  understand;  number  about  eighty  men.  Thirty  or 
forty  years  ago,  the  Spaniards  had  a  mission  here,  but  broke 
it  up  or  removed  it  to  Nacogdoches.  They  talk  of  re-settling 
it,  and  speak  in  the  highest  terms  of  the  country. 

MAYES. — They  live  on  a  large  creek  called  St.  Gabriel, 
on  the  bay  of  St.  Bernard,  near  the  mouth  of  Gaudaloupe 
river;  are  estimated  at  two  hundred  men;  never  at  peace  with 
the  Spaniards,  towards  whom  they  are  said  to  possess  a  fix- 
ed hatred,  but  profess  great  friendship  for  the  French,  to 
whom  they  havajpeen  strongly  attached  since  Monsieur  de 
Salle  landed  in  their  neighborhood.  The  place  where  there 
is  a  talk  of  the  Spaniards  opening  a  new  port}  and  making  a 
settlement,  is  near  them;  where  the  party,  with  the  governor 
of  St.  Antoine,  who  were  there  last  fall  to  examine  it,  say 
they  found  the  remains  of  a  French  block-house;  some  of  the 
cannon  now  at  Labahie  are  said  to  have  been  brought  from 
that  place,  and  known  by  the  engraving  now  to  be  seen  on 

The  French  speak  highly  of  these  Indians  for  their  ex- 
treme kindness  and  hospitality  to  all  Frenchmen  who  have 
iKfen  amongst  them:  have  a  language  of  their  own,  but  speak 
Attakapa,  which  is  a  language  of  their  neighbors  the  Ca_ 
rankouas;  they  have  likewise  a  way  of  conversing  by  signs t 

CARANKOTJAS. — They  live  on  an  island,  or  peninsula,  in 
the  bay  of  St.  Bernard,  in  length  about  ten  miles,  and  five  in 
breadth;  the  soil  is  extremely  rich  and  pleasant;  on  one  side 
of  which  there  is  a  high  bluff,  or  mountain  of  coal,  which 
has  been  on  fire  for  many  years,  affording  always  a  light  at 
night,  and  a  strong  thick  smoke  by  day,  by  which  vessels  are 
sometimes  deceived  and  lost  on  the  shoaly  coast,  which 
shoals  are  said  to  extend  nearly  out  of  sight  of  land.  From 
this  burning  coal,  there  is  emitted  a  gummy  substance  the 
Spaniards  called  cheta,  which  is  thrown  on  the  shore  by  the 
aurf,  and  collected  by  them  in  considerable  quantities,  which 
they  are  fond  of  chewing;  it  has  the  appearance  and  consis- 


tance  of  pitch,  of  a  strong,  aromatic,  and  not  disagreeable 
smell.  These  Indians  are  irreconcilable  enemies  to  the 
Spaniards,  always  at  war  with  them,  and  kill  them  when- 
ever they  can.  The  Spaniards  call  them  cannibals,  but 
the  French  give  them  a  different  character,  who  have  al- 
ways been  treated  kindly  by  them  since  Monsieur  de  Salle 
and  his  party  were  in  their  neighborhood.  They  are  said 
to  be  five  hundred  men  strong,  but  I  have  not  been  able 
to  estimate  their  numbers  from  any  very  accurate  informa- 
tion; in  a  short  time  expect  to  be  well  intbrrned.  They  speak 
the  Attakano  language;  are  friendly  and  kind  to  all  other  In- 
dians, and,  I  presume,  are  much  like  all  others,  notwithstan- 
ding what  the  Spaniards  say  of  them;  for  nature  is  every 
where  the  same. 

Last  summer  an  old  Spaniard  came  to  me  from  Labahie,  a. 
journey  of  about  five  hundred  miles,  to  have  a  barbed  arrow 
taken  out  of  his  shoulder,  that  one  of  these  Indians  had  shot 
in  it.  I  found  it  under  his  shoulder-blade,  near  nine  inches, 
and  had  to  cut  a  new  place  to  get  at  the  point  of  it,  in  order 
to  get  it  out  the  contrary  way  from  that  in  which  it  had  en- 
tered: it  was  made  of  a  piece  of  an  iron  hoop,  with  wings 
like  a  fluke  and  an  inche. 

GANGES. — They  are  a  very  numerous  nation,  consisting  of 
a  great  many  different  tribes,  occupying  different  parts  of 
the  country,  from  the  bay  of  St.  Bernard,  across  river  Grand, 
towards  La  Vera  Cruz.  They  are  not  friendly  to  the  Span- 
iards, and  generally  kill  them  when  they  have  an  opportuni- 
ty. They  are  attached  to  the  French;  are  good  hunters, 
principally  using  the  bow.  They  are  very  particular  in  their 
dress,  which  is  made  of  neatly  dressed  leather;  the  women 
wear  a  long  loose  robe,  resembling  that  of  a  Franciscan  friar, 
nothing  but  their  heads  and  feet  are  to  be  seen.  The  dress 
of  the  men  are  straight  leather  leggins,  resembling  panta- 
loons, and  a  leather  hunting-shirt,  or  frock.  No  estimate 
can  be  made  of  their  number. 

Thirty  or  forty  years  ago  the  Spaniards  used  to  make 
slaves  of  them  when  they  could  take  them;  a  considerable 
number  of  them  were  brought  to  Natchitoches  and  sold  tc 



the  French  inhabitants  at  forty  or  fifty  dollars  a  head,  and  a 
number  of  them  are  still  Jiving  here,  but  are  now  free. — 
About  twenty  years  ago  an  order  came  from  the  king  of  Spain 
that  no  more  Indians  should  be  made  slaves^  and  those  that 
were  enslaved  should  be  emancipated;  after  which  some  of  the 
wcmen  who  had  been  servants  in  good  families,  and  taught 
spinning,  sewing,  &c.  as  well  as  managing  household  affairs, 
married  natives  of  the  country,  and  become  respectable,  well 
behaved  women,  and  have  now,  growing  up,  decent  families 
of  children:  have  a  language  peculiar  Lo  themselves,  and  are 
understood,  by  signs,  by  all  others.  They  are  in  amity  with 
all  other  Indians  except  the  Hietans, 

TANKAWAYS,  OR  TANKS. — As  the  French  call  them,  have 
no  land  nor  claim  the  exclusive  right  to  any,  nor  have  any 
particular  place  of  abode,  but  are  always  moving,  alternately 
occupying  the  country  watered  by  the  Trinity,  Braces,  and 
Colerado,  toward 's  St.  a  Fe.  Resemble  in  their  dress,  the 
Cances  and  Hietans,  but  all  in  one  horde  or  tribe.  Their 
number  of  men  is  estimated  at  about  two  hundred;  are  gocd 
hunters,  kill  buffaloe  and  deer  with  the  bow;  have  the  best 
breed  of  horses;  are  alternately  friends  and  ensmies  of  the 
Spaniards.  An  old  trader  lately  informed  me,  that  he  had 
received  five  thousand  deer  skins  from  them  in  one  year,  ex- 
clusive of  tallow,  rugs  and  tongues.  They  plant  nothing, 
but  live  upon  wild  fruits  and  flesh:  are  strong,  athletic  peo- 
ple, and  excellent  horsemen. 

TAWAKENOES,  OR  THREE  CANES. — They  are  called  by 
both  names  indifferently;  live  on  the  west  side  of  the  Braces, 
but  are  often,  for  months  at  a  time,  lower  down  than  their 
usual  place  of  residence,  in  the  great  prairie  at  the  Tortuga, 
or  Turtle,  called  so  from  its  being  a  hill  in  the  prairie,  which 
at  a  distance,  appears  in  the  form  of  a  Turtle;  upon  which  , 
there  are  some  remarkable  springs  of  water.  Their  usual 
residence  is  about  two  hundred  miles  westward  of  Nacog- 
doches,  towards  St.  a  Fe.  They  are  estimated  at  two  hun- 
dred men:  are  good  hunters;  have  guns,  but  hunt  principally 
with  the  bow:  are  supplied  with  goods  from  Nacogdoches, 
and  pay  for  them  in  rugs,  tongues,  tallow,  and  skins.  They 


speak  the  same  language  as  the  Panias,  or  Towiaches,  and 
pretend  to  have  descended  from  the  same  ancestors. 

PANIAS,  OR  TOWIACHES. — The  French  call  them  Paniae, 
and  the  Spaniards  Towiaches;  the  latter  is  the  proper  Indi- 
an name.  They  live  on  the  south  side  of  Red  river;  by  the 
course  of  the  river  upwards  of  eight  Hundred  miles  above 
Natchitoches,  and  by  land,  by  the  nearest  path,  is  estimated 
at  about  four  hundred  and  forty.  They  have  two  towns 
near  together;  the  lower  town,  where  the  chief  lives,  is  cal- 
led Niteheta,  and  the  other  is  called  Towahach.  They  call 
their  present  chief  the  GREAT  BEAR.  They  are  at  war  with  the 
Spaniards,  but  friendly  to  those  French  and  American  hunters 
who  have  lately  been  among  them.  They  are  likewise  at  war 
with  the  Osages,  as  are  every  other  nation.  For  many  hundreds 
of  miles  round  them,  the  country  is  rich  prairie,  covered  with 
luxuriant  grass,  which  is  green,  summer  and  winter,  with 
skirts  of  wood  on  the  river  bank,  by  the  springs  and  creeks. 

They  have  many  horses  and  mules.  They  raise  more  corn, 
pumpkins,  beans  and  tobacco,  than  they  want  for  their  own 
consumption;  the  surplusage  they  exchange  with  the  Hie- 
tans  for  buffalo  rugs,  horses,  and  mules;  the  pumpkins  they 
cut  round  in  their  shreads,  and  when  it  is  in  a  state  of  dry- 
ness,  that  it  is  so  tough  it  will  not  break  but  bend,  they  plait 
and  work  it  into  large  mats,  in  which  state  they  sell  it  to  the 
Hietans.  who  as  they  travel,  cut  off  und  eat  it  as  they  want 
it.  Their  tobacco  they  manufacture  and  cut  as  fine  as  tea, 
which  is  put  in  leather  bags  of  a  certain  size,  and  is  likewise 
an  article  of  trade.  They  have  but  few  guns,  and  very  lit- 
tle ammunition;  what  they  have  they  keep  for  war,  and  hunt 
with  the  bow.  Their  meat  is  principally  buffalo;  seldom 
kill  a  deer,  though  they  are  so  plenty  that  they  come  into 
their  villages,  and  about  their  houses,  like  a  domestic  animal; 
elks,  bears,  wolves,  antelopes  and  wild  hogs  are  likewise 
plenty  in  their  cunntry,  and  white  rabbits,  or  hares,  as  well 
as  the  common  rabbit:  white  bears  sometimes  come  down 
amongst  them,  and  wolves  of  various  colours.  The  men  gen- 
erally go  entirely  naked,  and  women  nearly  so,  only  wearing" 
a  srnaJl  flap  of  a  piece  of  a  skin.  They  have  a  number  of 
Spaniards  among  them*  of  fair  complexion,  taken  from  the 


settlement  of  St.  a  Fe,  when  they  were  children,  who  live 
as  they  do,  and  have-no  knowledge  of  where  they  came  from. 
Their  language  differs  from  that  of  any  other  nation,  the 
Tawakenoes  excepted.  Their  present  number  of  men  is  es- 
timated at  about  four  hundred.  A  great  number  of  them 
were  .swept  off  by  the  small  pox. 


HIETANS,  OR  COMANCHES. — Who  are  likewise  called  by 
both  names,  have  no  fixed  place  of  residence;  have  neither 
towns  nor  villages;  divided  into  so  many  different  hordes  or 
tribes,  that  they  have  scarcely  any  knowledge  of  one  anoth- 
er. No  estimate  of  their  numbers  can  well  be  made.  They 
never  remain  in  the  same  place  more  than  a  few  days,  but 
follow  the  buffalo,  the  flesh  of  which  is  their  principal  food. 
Some  of  them  occasionally  purchase  of  the  Panias,  corn, 
beans,  and  pumpkins;  but  they  are  so  numerous,  that  any 
quantity  of  these  articles  the  Panias  are  able  to  supply  them 
with,  must  make  but  a  small  proportion  of  their  food.  They 
have  tents  made  of  neatly  dressed  skins,  fashioned  in  the 
form  of  a  cone,  sufficiently  roomy  for  a  family  often  or 
twelve  persons;  those  of  the  chiefs  will  contain  occasionally 
fifty  or  sixty  persons.  When  they  stop,  their  tents  are  pitch- 
ed  in  very  exact  order,  so  as  to  form  regular  streets  and 
squares,  which  in  a  few  minutes  has  the  appearance  of  a 
town,  raised,  as  it  were  by  enchantment;  and  they  are  equal- 
ly dexterous  in  striking  their  tents  and  preparing  for  a  march 
when  the  signal  is  given;  to  every  tent  two  horses  or  mules 
are  allotted,  one  to  carry  the  tent,  and  another  the  poles  or 
sticks,  which  are  neatly  made  of  red  cedar,  they  travel  on 
horseback.  Their  horses  they  never  turn  loose  to  graze,  but 
always  keep  them  tied  with  a  long  cabras  or  halter;  and  eve- 
ry two  or  three  days  they  are  obliged  to  remove  on  account  of 
all  the  grass  near  them  being  eaten  up,  they  have  such  num- 
bers of  horses.  They  are  good  horsemen  and  have  good  hor- 
ees,  most  of  which  are  bred  by  themselves;  and  being  aceus- 
tomed-from  when  very  young  to  be  handled,  they  are  remar- 
kably docile  and  gentle*  They  sometimes  catch  wild  horses,, 


which  are  every  where  among  them  in  immense  droves.  They 
hunt  down  the  buffalo  on  horseback,  and  kill  them  either 
with  the  bow  or  a  sharp  stick  like  a  spear,  which  they  carry 
in  their  hands.  They  are  generally  at  war  with  the  Span- 
iards, often  committing  depredations  upon  the  inhabitants  of 
St.  a  Fe  and  St.  Antoine;  but  have  always  been  friendly  and 
civil  to  any  French  or  Americans  who  have  been  among 
them.  They  are  strong  athletic,  and  the  elderly  men  as  fat 
as  though  they  had  lived  upon  American  beef  and  porter. 

It  is  said,  that  the  man  who  kills  a  buffalo,  catches  the 
blood,  and  drinks  it  while  warm;  they  likewise  eat  the  liver 
raw,  before  it  is  cold,  and  use  the  gall  by  way  of  sause. — 
They  are,  for  savages,  uncommonly  cleanly  in  their  persons: 
the  dress  of  the  woman  is  a  long  loose  robe,  that  reaches 
from  their  chin  to  the  ground,  tied  round  with  a  fancy  sash, 
or  girdle,  all  made'  of  neatly  dressed  leather,  on  which  th'ey 
paint  figures  of  different  colours  and  significations:  the  dress 
of  the  men  is  close  leather  pantaloons,  and  a  hunting  shirt, 
or  frock  of  the  same.  They  never  remain  long  enough  in 
the  same  place  to  plant  any  thing:  the  small  Cayenne  pepper 
grows  spontaneously  in  the  country;  with  which,  and  some 
wild  herbs  and  fruits,  particularly  a  bean  that  grows  in  great 
plenty  on  a  small  tree  resembling  a  willow,  called  masketo, 
the  women  cook  their  buffalo  beef  in  a  manner  that  would 
be  grateful  to  an  American  squire.  They  alternately  occu- 
py the  immense  space  of  the  country  from  the  Trinity  and 
Braces,  crossing  the  Red  river,  to  the  heads  of  Arkansas  and 
Missouri,  to  the  river  Grand,  and  beyond  it,  about  St.  a  Fe, 
and  over  the  dividing  ridge  on  the  waters  of  the  Western 
ocean,  where  they  say  they  have  seen  large  peroques,  with 
masts  to  them;  in  describing  which,  they  have  seen  vessels 
ascending  a  river,  over  which  was  a  draw-bridge  that  opened 
to  give  them  a  passage.  Their  native  language  of  sounds 
differs  from  the  language  of  any  other  nation,  and  none 
can  either  speak  or  understand  it;  but  they  have  a  lan- 
guage by  signs,  that  all  Indians  understand,  and  by  which 
they  converse  much  among  themselves.  They  have  a  num- 
ber of  Spanish  men  and  women  among  them,  who  are  slaves, 
which  they  made  prisoners  when  young. 


An  elderly  gentleman  now  living  at  Natchitoches,  who, 
some  years  ago,  carried  on  a  trade  with  the  Hietans,  a  few 
years  ago,  related  to  me  the  following  story. 

"About  twenty  years  ago  a  party  of  these  Indians  passed 
over  the  Grand  river  to  Chewawa,  the  residence  of  the  gov- 
ernor-general of  what  is  called  the  Five  Internal  Provinces; 
lay  in  ambush  for  an  opportunity,  and  made  prisoner  the  gov- 
ernor's daughter,  a  young  lady  going  in  her  coach  to  mass, 
and  brought  her  off.  The  governor  sent  a  message  to  him 
(my  informant)  with  a  thousand  dollars,  for  the  purpose  of  re- 
covering his  daughter:  he  immediately  despatched  a  confi- 
dential trader  for  the  purpose  of  recovering  his  daughter, 
then  in  his  employ,  with  the  amount  of  the  thousand  dollars 
in  merchandise,  who  repaired  to  the  nation,  found  her,  and 
purchased  her  ransom;  but  to  his  great  surprise,  she  refused 
to  return  with  him  to  her  father,  and  sent,  by  him  the  following 
message:  ''That  the  Indians  had  disfigured  her  face  by  tatoo- 
ing  it,  according  to  their  fancy  and  ideas  of  beauty,  and  a 
young  man  of  them  had  taken  her  for  his  wife,  by  whom  she 
believed  herself  pregnant;  that  she  had  become  reconciled  to 
their  mode  of  life,  and  was  well  treated  by  her  husband;  and 
that  she  should  be  more  unhappy  by  returning  to  her  father, 
under  these  circumstances,  than  by  remaining  where  she 
was:"  Which  message  was  conveyed  to  her  father,  who  re- 
warded the  trader  by  a  present  of  three  hundred  dollars  more 
for  his  trouble  and  fidelity.  His  daughter  is  now  living  with 
her  Indian  husband  in  the  nation,  by  whom  she  has  three 

NATCHITOCHES. — Formerly  lived  where  the  town  of  Nat- 
chitoches is  now  situated  which  took  its  name  from  them. — 
An  elderly  French  gentleman  lately  told  ;ne,  he  remembered 
when  they  were  six  hundred  strong.  I  believe  it  is  now 
ninety-eight  years  since  the  French  first  established  them- 
selves at  Natchitoches;  ever  since  these  Indians  have  been 
their  steady  and  faithful  friends.  After  the  massacre  of  the 
French  inhabitants  of  Natchez,  by  the  Natchez  Indians,  in  17- 
28,  those  Indians,  fled  from  the  French,  after  being  reinforced, 
and  came  up  red  river,  and  encamped  about  six  miles  below  the 
town  of  Natchitoches,  neacthe  rivex,  by  the/side  of  a  small  lake 


of  clear  water,  and  erected  a  mound  of  considerable  size, 
where  it  now  remains.  Monsieur  St.  Dennie,  a  French  Can- 
adian, was  then  commandant  at  Natchitoches;  the  Indians 
called  him  the  Big  Foot,  were  fond  of  him,  for  he  was  a 
brave  man.  St.  Dennie,  with  a  few  French  soldiers,  and 
what  malitia  he  could  muster  joined  by  the  Natchitoches  In- 
dians, attacked  the  Natchez  in  their  camp,  early  in  the  morn- 
ing: they  defended  desperately  for  six  hours,  but  were  at 
length  totally  defeated  by  St.  Dennie,  and  those  of  them  that 
were  not  killed  in  battle,  were  driven  into  the  lake,  where 
the  last  of  them  perished,  and  the  Natchez,  as  a  nation,  be- 
came extinct.  The  lake  is  now  called  by  no  other  name 
than  the  Natchez  lake.  There  are  now  remaining  of  the 
Natchitoches  but  twelve  men  and  nineteen  women,  who  live 
in  a  village  about  twenty-live  miles  by  land  above  the  town, 
which  bears  their  name,  near  a  lake,  called  by  the  French 
Lac  de  Muire.  Their  original  language  is  the  same  as  the 
Yattassee,  but  speak  Oddo,  and  most  of  them  French. 

The  French  Inhabitants  have  great  respect  for  this  nation; 
and  a  number  of  very  decent  families  have  a  mixture  of  their 
blood  in  them.  They  claim  but  a  small  tract  of  land,  on 
which  they  live,  and  I  am  informed,,  have  the  same  rights  to 
it  from  government,  that  other  inhabitants  in  their  neighbor- 
hood have.  They  are  gradually  wasting  away;  the  small-pox 
has  been  their  great  destroyer.  They  still  preserve  their  In- 
dian dress  and  habits,  raise  corn  aiid  those  vegetables  com- 
mon in  their  neighborhood. 

BOLUXAS. — Are  emigrants  from  near  Fensacola.  They 
came  to  Red  river  about  forty-two  years  ago,  with  some 
French  families,  who  left  that  country  about  the  time  Penea- 
cola  was  taken  possession  of  by  the  English.  They  Were 
then  a  considerably  numerous  tribe,  and  have  generally  em- 
braced the  Roman  Catholic  religion,  and  were  ever  highly 
esteemed  by  the  French.  They  settled  first  at  Avoyall, 
then  moved  higher  up  the  Rapide  Bayou,  and  from  thence  to 
the  mouth  of  Regula  de  Bondieu,  a  division  of  Red  river, 
about  forty  miles  below  Natchitoches,  where  they  now  live, 
and  are  reduced  to  about  thirty  in  number.  Their  native 
language  is  peculiar  to  themselves,,  but  speak  Hobiliau 


which  is  spoken  by  all  the  Indians  from  the  east  side  of  the 
Mississippi.  They  are  an  honest,  harmless,  and  friendly 

APPAL  ACHES. — They  are  likewise  emigrants  from  West 
Florida,  from  off  the  river  whose  name  they  bear;  came  over 
to  Red  river  about  the  same  time  the  Boluxas  did,  and  have 
ever  since  lived  on  the  river  about  Bayou  Rapide.  No  nation 
have  been  more  highly  esteemed  by  the  French  inhabitants; 
no  complaints  against  them  are  ever  heard;  there  are  only 
fourteen  men  remaining;  have  their  own  language,  but  speak 
French  and  Mobil ian. 

ALLIBAMIS. — They  are  likewise  from  West  Florida,  off 
the  Allibami  river,  and  came  to  Red  river  about  the  same 
time  of  the  Boluxas  and  Appalaches,  Part  of  them  have 
lived  on  Red  river,  about  sixteen  mi'lps  above  the  Bayou  Ra- 
pide, till  last  year,  when  most  of  this  party,  of  about  thirty, 
men,  went  up  Red  river,  and  have  settled  themselves  near 
the  Caddoques;  where,!  am  informed,  they  last  year  had  a 
good  crop  of  corn.  The  Caddoques  are  friendly  to  them, 
and  have  no  objection  to  their  sattling  there.  They  speak 
the  Greek  and  Chataw  language's,  and  Mobilian;  most  of 
them  French,  and  seme  of  them  English. 

There  is  another  party  of  them,  whose  village  is  on  a  small 
creek,  in  A  ppelousa  district,  about  thirty  miles  north  west 
from  the  church  of  A ppelousa.  They  consist  of  about  forty 
men.  They  have  lived  at  the  same  place  ever  since  they 
came  from  Florida;  are  said  to  be  increasing  a  little  in  num- 
bers, for  years  past.  They  raise  corn;  have  horses,  hogs  and 
cattle'  and  are  harmless  quiet  people. 

CONCRTTAS. — They  are  almost  the  same  people  as  the  Al- 
libamis,  but  came  over  only  ten  years  ago;  first  lived  on 
Bayou  Chico,  in  A  ppelousa  district;  but,  four  years  ago,  mo- 
ved to  the  river  Sabine  settled  themselves  on  the  east  bank, 
where  they  now  live,  in  nearly  a  south  direction  from  Natchi- 
toches,  and  distant  about  eighty  miles.  They  call  their  num- 
ber of  men  about  one  hundred  and  sixty;  but  say,  if  they 
were  all  together,  they  would  amount  to  two  hundred.  Sev- 
eral families  of  tnem  live  in  detached  settlements.  They 

LEWIS  AND  CLARK fi.  155 

are  good  hunters.  Game  is  plenty.  A  few  days  ago,  a 
small  party  of  them  were  hare,  consisting  of  fifteen  persons, 
men,  women,  and  children,  who  were  on  their  return  from  a 
bear  hunt  up  the  Sahine.  They  told  -nie  they  had  killed  one 
hundred  and  eighteen;  but  this  year  an  uncommon  number  of 
bears  have  come  down.  One  man  alone,  on  the  Sabirie,  dur- 
ing the  summer  and  fall  hunting,  killed  four  hundred  deer, 
sold  his  skins  at  forty  dollars  a  hundred.  The  bears  this 
year  are  not  so  fat  as  comman;  they  usually  yield  from  eight 
to  twelve  gallons  of  oil,  each  of  which  never  sells  for  less 
than  a  dollar  a  gallon,  and  the  skin  a  dollar  more.  No  great 
quantity  of  the  meat  is  saved.  What  the  hunters  do  .not  use 
when  out,  they  generally  give  to  the  dogs.  The  Conchat- 
tas  are  friendiy  with  all  other  Indians,  and  speak  well  of  their 
neighbors  the  Caranhouas,  who;  they  say  live  abput  eighty 
miles  south  of  them,  on  the  bay,  which  I  believe,  is  the 
nearest  point  to  the  sea  from  Natehitoches.  A  few  families 
of  Chactaws  have  lately  settled  near  them  from  Bayou  Boeuf. 
The  Conchattas  sneak  Greek,  which  is  their  native  language, 
and  Chactaw,  and  several  of  them  English,  and  one  or  two 
of  them  can  read  it  a  little. 

PACANAS, — They  are  a  small  tribe  of  about  thirty  men, 
who  live  on  the  Quelqueshoe  river,  which  falls  into  the  bay 
between  Attaka-)pa  and  Sabine,  which  heads  in  a  prairie 
called  Cooko  Prairie,  about  forty  miles  south  west  of  Natehi- 
toches. These  people  *are  likewise  emigrants  from  West 
Florida,  about  forty  years  ago.  Their  village  is  abput  fifty 
miles  south-east  of  the  Conchattas;  are  said  to  be  increasing 
a  little  in  number;  quiet,  peaceable^  and  friendly  people. — 
Their  own  language  differs  from  any  other,  but  speak  Mo- 

ATTAKAPAS — This  word,  I  am  informed,  when  transla- 
ted into  English,  means  Man-eater,  but  is  no  more  applicable 
to  them  than  any  other  Indians.  The  district  they  live  in  is 
called  after  them.  Their  village  is  about  twenty-five  miles 
to  the  westward  of  the  Attakappa  church,  towards  Quelque- 
shoe. Their  number  of  men  is  about  fifty,  but  some  Tunicas 
and  Humas,  who  have  married  in  their  nation,  and  live  with 


them  altogether  about  eighty.  They  arc  peaceable  and  friend- 
ly to  every  body;  labor,  occasionally,  for  the  white  inhabi- 
tants: raise  their  own  com;  have  cattle  and  hogs.  Their  lan- 
guage and  the  Carankouas  is  the  same.  They  were,  or  near 
where  they  now  live,  when  that  part  of  the  country  was  first 
discovered  by  the  French. 

APPALOUSA. — It  is  said  the  word  Appalousa,  in  the  Indi- 
an language,  means,  Black  head,  or  Black  skull.  They  are 
aborigines  of  the  district  called  by  their  name.  Their  village 
is  about  fifteen  miles  west  from  the  Appalousa  church;  have 
about  forty-five  men  Their  native  language  differs  from  all  - 
other;  understand  Attacapa,  and  speak  Frerch;  plant  corn, 
have  cattle  and  hogs. 

TUNICAS. — These, people  lived  formerly  on  the  Bayou  Tu- 
nica, abr-ve  Point  Coupee,  on  the  Mississippi,  east  side;  live 
now  at  Avoyall;  do  not  at  present  exceed  twenty-five  men. — 
Their  native  language  is  peculiar  to  themselves,  but  speak 
Mobilian;  are  employed,  occasionally,  by  the  inhabitants  as 
boatmen,  &c.  are  in  amity  with  all  other  people,  and  gradual- 
ly diminishing  in  numbers. 

PASCAGOLAS. — These  people  live  in  a  small  village  on 
Red  river,  about  sixty  miles  below  Natchitoches;  are  emi- 
grants from  Pascagola  river,  in  West  Florida;  twenty -five 
men  of  them  only  remaining;  speak  Mobilian,  but  have  a 
language  peculiar  to  themselves;  most  of  them  speak  and  un- 
derstand French.  They  raise  good  crops  of  cum,  and  gar- 
den vegetables;  have  cattle,  horses,  and  poultry  plenty. 

TENISAWS. — They  are  likewise  emigrants  from  the  Ten- 
nesau  river,  that  falls  into  the  bay  of  Mobile;  have  resided  on 
Red  river  about  forty  years;  are  reduced  to  about  twenty-five 
men.  Their  village  is  within  one  mile  of  the  Pascagolas, 
on  the  opposite  side;  but  have  lately  sold  their  land,  and 
have,  or  are  about  moving  to  Bayou  I>o3uf,  about  twenty-five 
miles  south  from  where  they  lately  Jived.  All  speak  French 
and  Mobilian,  and  live  much  like  their  neighbors  the  Pasca- 

CHATTOOS. — They  live  on  Bayou  Boeuf,  about  ten  miles. 


to  the  southward  of  Bayou  Rapide,  on  Reel  river,  towards  Ap- 
pallousa:  a  small  honest -people;  arc  aborigines  of  the  coun- 
try where  they  live;  of  men  about  thirty;  diminishing:  have 
their  own  peculiar  tongue;  speak  Mobilian.  The  lands  they 
claim  on  Bayou  Bceuf  are  inferrior  to  no  part  of  Louisiana 
in  depth  and  richness  of  soil,  growth  of  timber,  pleasantness 
of  surface,  and  goodness  of  water.  The  Bayou  Boeuf  falls 
into  the  Chaffeli,  and  discharges  though  Appellousa  and  At- 
takapa  and  Vermillion  bay. 

WASHAS. — When  the  French  first  came  into  the  Missis- 
sippi, this  nation  lived  on  an  island  to  the  southwest  of  New 
Orleans,  called  Barritaria,  and  were  the  first  tribe  of  Indi- 
ans they  become  acquainted  with,  and  were  always  friends. 
They  afterwards  lived  on  Bayou  La  Fosh;  and,  from  being  a 
considerable  nation,  are  now  reduced  to  five  persons  only, 
two  men  and  three  women,  who  are  scattered  in  French  fam- 
ilies; have  been  many  years  extinct,  as  a  nation,  and  their 
native  language  is  lost. 

CIIACTAWS. — There  are  a  considerable  number  of  this  na- 
tion en  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi,  who  have  not  been 
home  for  several  years.  About  twelve  miles  above  the  post 
on  Ouacheta,  on  that  river,  there  is  a  small  village  of  them 
of  about  thirty  men,  who  have  lived  there  for  several  years, 
and  made  corn;  and  likewise  on  Bayou  Chica,  in  the  northern 
part  of  the  district  of  Appalousa,  there  is  another  village  of 
them  of  about  fifty  men,  who  have  been  there  for  about  nine 
years,  and  say  they  have  the  governor  of  Louisiana's  per- 
mission to  settle  there.  Besides  these,  there  are  rambling 
hunting  parties  of  them  to  be  met  with  all  ever  Lower  Lou- 
isiana. They  are  at  war  with  the  Caddoques,  and  liked  by 
neither  red  nor  white  people. 

ARKANSAS. — They  live  on  the  Arkansas  river,  south  side, 
in  three  villages,  about  twelve  miles  above  the  post,  or  sta- 
tion. The  name  of  the  first  village  is  Towanima;  second 
Oufotu,  and  the  third  Ocapa;  in  all,  it  is  believed,  they  do 
not  at  present  exceed  one  hundred  men,  and  diminishing. — 
They  are  at  war  with  the  Osages,  but  friendly  with  all  other 
people,  white  and  red;  are  the  original  proprietors  of  tbe 



country  on  the  river,  to  all  which  they  claim,  for  about  three 
hundred  miles  above  them,  to  the  junction  of  the  river  Cad- 
wa  with  Arkansas;  above  this  fork  the  Osages  claim.  Their 
language  is  Osage.  They  generally  raise  corn  to  sell;  are 
called  honest  and  friendly  people. 


Origin   of  the  American  Indians. 

"The  means,"  says  an  ingenious  traveller,  "by  which  A- 
merica  received  its  first  Inhabitants,  have,  since  the  time  of 
its  discovery  by  the  Europeans,  been  the  subject  of  number- 
less disquisitions.  Was  I  to  endeavor  to  collect  the  differ- 
ent opinions  and  'reasonings  of  the  various  writers  that  have 
taken  up  the  pen  in  defence  of  their  conjectures,  the  enumer- 
ation would  much  exceed  the  bonds  I  have  prescribed  to  my- 
self, and  oblige  me  to  be  less  explicit  on  points  of  greater 
moment.  From  the  obscurity  in  which  this  debate  is  envel- 
oped, through  the  total  disuse  of  letters  among  every  nation 
of  Indians  oa  this  extensive  continent,  and  the  uncer- 
tainty of  oral  tradition  at  the  distance  of  so  many  ages,  I 
fear,  that  even  after  the  most  minute  investigation,  we  shall 
not  be  able  to  settle  it  with  any  great  degree  of  certainty. — 
And  this  apprehension  will  receive  additional  force,  when  it 
is  considered  that  the  diversity  of  language,  which  is  appar- 
ently distinct  between  most  of  the  Indians,  tends  to  ascer- 
tain that  this  population  was  not  effected  from  one  particu- 
lar country,  but  from  several  neighboring  ones,  and  comple- 
ted at  different  periods.  Most  of  the  historians,  oj  travel- 
lers that  have  treated  on  the  American  Aborigines,  disagree 
in  their  sentiments  relative  to  them.  Many  of  the  ancients 
are  supposed  to  have  known  that  this  quarter  of  the  globe 
not  only  existed,  bat  also  that  k  was  inhabited.  Plato  in 
his  Timseus  has  asserted,  that  beyond  the  island  which  he 
calls  Atalantis,  and  which,  according  to  his  discription,  was 
situated  in  the  Western  Ocean,  there  were  a  great  number  of 
other  islands,  and  behind  those  a  vast  continent.  Oviedo,  a 
celebrated  Spanish  author,  of  much  later  date,  has  made  no 
scruple  to  affirm,  that  the-  Antilles  are  the  famous  Hesperides, 


so  often  mentioned  by  the  poets;  which  are  at  length  restored 
to  the  kings  of  Spain,  the  descendants  of  king  Hesperus, 
who  lived  upwards  of  three  thousand  years  ago,  and  from 
whom  these  islands  received  their  name.  Two  other  Span- 
iards, the  one  Father  Gregorio  Garcia,  Dominican;  the  other 
Father  Joseph  De  Acosta,  a  Jesuit,  have  written  on  the  ori- 
gin of  the  Americans.  The  former,  who  had  been  employ- 
ed in  the  missions  of  Mexico  and  Peru,  endeavored  to  prove 
from  the  traditions  of  the  Mexicans,  Peruvians,  and  others 
which  he  received  on  the  spot,  and  from  the  variety  of  char- 
acters, customs,  languages  and  religion  observed  in  the  dif- 
ferent countries  of  the  New  World,  that  different  nations 
had  contributed  to  the  peopling  of  it.  The  latter,  Father 
De  Acosta,  in  his  examination  of  the  means  by  which  the 
first  Indians  of  America  might  have  found  a  passage  to  that 
continent,  discredits  the  conclusions  of  those  who  have  sup- 
posed it  to  be  by  sea,  because  no  ancient  author  has  made  men- 
tion of  the  compass;  and  concludes,  that  it  must  be  either  by 
the  north  of  Asia  and  Europe,  which  adjoin  to  each  other, 
or  by  those  regions  that  lie  to  the  southward  of  the  Straits  of 
Magellan.  He  also  rejects  the  assertions  of  such  as  have 
advanced  that  it  was  peopled  by  the  Hebrews.  John  de  Laet, 
a  Flemish  writer,  has  controverted  the  opinions  of  the  Span- 
ish fathers,  and  of  many  others  who  have  writen  on  the 
same  subject.  The  hypothesis  he  endeavors  to  establish,  is, 
that  America  was  certainly  peopled  by  the  Scythians  or  Tar- 
tars, and  that  the  transmigration  of  these  people  happened 
soon  after  the  dispersion  of  Noah's  grandsons.  He  under- 
takes to  show,  that  the  most  northern  Americans  have  a 
greater  resemblance,  not  only  in  the  features  of  their  coun- 
tenances, but  also  in  their  complexion  and  manner  of  living, 
to  the  Scythians,  Tartars  and  Samoeides,  than  to  any  other 
nations.  In  answer  to  Grotius,  who  had  asserted  that  soma 
of  the  Norwenians  passed  into  America  by  way  of  Green* 
land,  and  over  a  vast  continent,  he  says,  that  it  is  well 
known  that  Greenland  was  not  discovered  till  the  year  964; 
and  both  Gomera  and  Herrera  inform  us,  that  the  Chichime- 
ques  were  settled  on  the  lake  of  Mexico  in  721.  He  adds, 
that  these  savages,  according  k>  the  uniform  tradition  of  the 


Mexicans  who  dispossessed  them,  came  from  the  country 
since  called  New  Mexico,  and  from  the  neighborhood  of  Cali- 
fornia; consequently  North  America  must  have  been  inhabi- 
ted many  ages  before  it  could  receive  any  inhabitants  fr  ;m 
Norway,  by  way  of  Greenland.  It  is  no  less  certain,  he  ob- 
serves, that  the  real  Mexicans  founded  their  empire  in  902, 
after  having  subdued  the  Chichimeques,  the  Otomias,  and 
other  barbarous'  nations,  who  had  taken  -possession  of  the 
country  round  the  lake  of  Mexico,  and  each  of  whom  spoke  a 
language  peculiar  to  themselves.  The  real  Mexicans  are 
likewise  supposed  to  come  from  some  of  the  countries  that 
lie  near  California;  and  that  they  performed  their  journey  for 
the  most  part  by  land;  of  course  they  could  not  come  from 
Norway.  DC  Laet  further  adds,  that  though  some  of  the 
inhabitants  of  North  America  may  have  entered  it  from  the 
north-west,  yet,  as~it  is  related  by  Pliny,  and  some  other  wri- 
ters, that  on  many  of  the  islands  near  the  western  coast  of 
Africa,  particularly  on  the  Canaries,  some  ancient  edifices 
were  seen,  it  is  highly  probable  from  their  being  now  deserted; 
that  the  inhabitants  may  have  passed  over  to  America;  the 
passage  neither  long  nor  difficult.  This  migration,  accord- 
ing to  the  calculation  of  those  authors,  must  have  happened 
more  than  two  thousand  years  ago,  at  a  time  when  the  Span- 
iards were  much  troubled  by  the  Carthaginians;  from  whom 
having  obtained  a  knowledge  of  navigation  and  the  construc- 
tion of  ships,  they  might  have  retired  to  the  Antilles,  by 
way  of  the  western  iles,  which  were  exactly  half  way  on 
their  voyage.  He  thinks  also,  that  Great  iiritain,  Ireland, 
and  the  Orcades  were  extremely  proper  to  admit  of  a 
similar  conjecture.  As  a  proof,  he  inserts  the  following  pas- 
sage from  the  history  of  Wales,  written  by  Dr.  Da,vid  Pow~ 
el,  in  the  year  1 170: — This  historian  says,  that  Madoc,  one 
of  the  sons  of  Prince  Owen.  Gwynnith,  being  disgusted  at 
the  civil  wars  which  broke  out  between  his  brothers  after  the 
death  of  their  father,  fitted  out  several  vessels,  and  having 
provided  them  with  every  thing  necessary  for  a  long  voyage, 
went  in  quest  of  new  lands  to  the  westward  of  Ireland;  there 
he  discovered  very  fertile  countries,  but  destitute  of  inhabi- 
tants; when  landing  'a  part  of  his  people,  he  returned  to 


Rritian,  where  he  raised  new  levies,  and  afterwards  trans- 
ported this  to  his  colony. 

The  Flemish  author  then  returns  to  the  Scythians,  be- 
tween whom  and  the  Americans  he  draws  a  parallel.     He 
observes   that  several  nations  of  them  to  the  north  of  the 
Caspian  soa,  led  a  wandering1   life;  which,  as  well  as  many 
other  of  their  customs,  and  way  of  living,  agrees  in  many 
circumstances  with  the   Indians  of  America.     And  though 
the   resemblances    are  not  absolutely  perfect,  yet  the  emi- 
grants, even  before  they  left  their  own  country,  dilTered  from 
each  other,  and  went  not  by  the  same  name.     Their  change 
of  abode  effected  .what  remained.     He  further   says,  that  a 
similar  likeness   exists  between    several    American   nations 
and  Samoa  ides,  who  are  settled,  according  to  the  Russian  ac- 
counts, on  the  great  river  Oby.    And  it  is  more  natural,  con- 
tinues he,  to  suppose  that  colonies  of  these  nations   passed 
over  to  America  by  crossing  the  Icy  Sea   on  thoir  sledges, 
than  for  the  Norwegians    to  travel   all  the  way  Grotias  has 
marked  out  for  them.     This  writer  makes   many   other  re- 
marks that  are  equally  sensible,  and  which  appaa'r  to  be  just; 
but  he  intermixes  with  these  some  that  are  not  so  well  foun- 
ded.    Emanuel  de  Moraez,  a  Portuguese,  in  his  history  of 
Brazil,  asserts  that  America  has  been  wholly  peopled  by  the 
Carthaginians  and  Israelites.     He  brings  as  a  proof  of  this 
assertion  the  discoveries  the  former  are  known  to  have  made 
at  a  great  distance  beyound  the  coast  of  Africa.     The  pro- 
gress of  which  being  put  a  stop  to  by  the  senate  of  Carthags 
those  who  happened  to  be  then  in  the  newly  discovered  coun 
tries,  being  cut  off  from  all  communication  with   their  coun- 
trymen, and  destitute  of  many  necessaries  of  life,  fell  into  a 
state  of  barbarism.     As  to  the  Israelites,  this  author  thinks 
that  nothing  but  circumcision  is  wanted  in   order  to  consti- 
tute a  perfect  resemblance  between  them  and  the  Brazilians. 
George  de  Hornn,  a  learned  Dutchman,  has  likewise  written 
on  the,  subject.     He  sets  out  with  declaring,  that  he  does  not 
believe  it  possible  America  could  hare  been   peopled  before 
the  flood,  considering  the  short  space  of  time  which  elapsed 
between  the  creation  of  the  world  and  the  memorable  event. 
In  the  next  place  he  lays  it  down  as  a  principle,  that  aftet 


the  deluge,  men  and  other  terrestrial  animals  penetrated  in- 
to that  country  both  by  sea  and  land;  some  through  accident, 
and  somo  from  a  formed  design.  That  birds  got  thither  by 
flight;  which  they  were  enabled  to  do  by  resting  on  the  rocks 
and  islands  that  are  scattered  about  the  ocean.  He  further 
observes  that  wild  beasts  may  have  found  a  free  passage  by 
land;  and  that  if  we  do  not  meet  with  horses  or  cattle  (to 
which  he  might  have  added  elephants,  camels,  rhinoceroses, 
and  beasts  of  many  other  kinds)  it  is  because  those  nations 
that  passed  thither,  were  either  not  acquainted  with  their 
use,  or  had  no  convenience  to  support  them.  Having  total- 
ly excluded  many  nations  that  others  have  admitted  as  the 
first  settlers  of  America,  for  which  he  gives  substantial  rea- 
sons, he  supposes  that  it  began  to  be  peopled  by  the  north; 
and  maintains  the  priir.ative  colonies  spread  themselves  by 
the  means  of  the  isthmus  of  Panama,  through  the  whole  ex- 
tent of  the  continent.  He  believes  that  the  first  founders  of 
the  Indian  colonies  were  Scythians.  That  the  Phoanicians 
and  Carthaginians  afterwards  got  footing  to  America  across 
the  Atlantic  ocean,  and  the  Chinese  by  way  of  the  Pacific, 
and  that  other  nations  might  from  time  have  landed  there  by 
one  or  other  of  these  ways,  or  might  possibly  have  been 
thrown  on  the  coast  by  tempests:  since,  through  the  whole 
extent  of  that  continent,  both  in  its  northern  and  southern 
parts,  we  meet  with  undoubted  marks  of  a  mixture  of  the 
northern  nations,  with  those  who  have  come  from  other  pla- 
ces. And  lastly,  that  some  Jews  and  Christians  might  have 
been  carried  there  by  such  like  events,  but  that  this  must 
have  happened  at  a  time  when  the  whole  of  the  new  world 
was  already  peopled.  After  all,  he  acknowledges  that  great 
difficulties  attend  the  determination  of  the  question.  These,, 
lie  says,  are  occasioned  in  the  first  place  by  the  imperfect 
knowledge  we  have  of  the  extremities  of  the  globe,  toward 
the  north  and  sooth  pole;  and  the  next  place  to  the  havoc 
which  the  Spaniards,  the  first  discoverers  of  the  new  world, 
made  among  its  most  ancient  monuments;  as  witness  the 
great  double  road  betwixt  Quito  and  Cuzco,  an  undertaking 
so  stupendous,  that  even  the  most  magnificient  of  those  exe- 
cuted by  the  Romans  cannot  be  compared  to  it.  He  suppo- 


ses  also  another  migration  of  the  Phoenicians,  than  those  al- 
ready mentioned  to  have  taken  place;  and  this  was  during  a 
three  years  voyage  made  by  the  Tyrian  fleet  in  the  service 
of  King  Solomon.  He  asserts  on  the  authority  of  Josephus, 
that  the  port  at  which  this  embarkation  was  made, lay  in  the 
Mediterranean.  The  fleet,  he  adds,  went  in  quest  of  ele- 
phant's teeth  and  peacocks  to  the  western  coast  of  Africa, 
which  is  Tarehiah:  then  to  Ophir  for  gold,  which  is  Haiti,  or 
the  island  of  Hispaniola;  in  the  latter  opinion  he  is  suppor- 
ted by  Columbus,  who,  when  he  discovered  that  island, 
thought  he  could  trace  the  furnaces  in  which  the  gold  was 
refined.  To  these  migrations  which  preceded  the  Christian 
era,  he  adds  many  others  of  a  later  date  from  different  na- 
tions, but  these  I  have  not  time  to  enumerate.  For  the 
same  reason  I  am  obliged  to  pass  over  numberless  writers  on 
this  subject;  and  shall  content  myself  with  only  giving  the 
sentiments  of  two  or  three  more.  The  first  of  these  is 
Pierre  De  Charlevoix,  a  Frenchman,  who,  in  his  journal  of  a 
voyage  to  North  America,  made  so  lately  as  the  year  1720, 
has  recapitulated  the  opinions  of  a  variety  of  authors  on  this 
head,  to  which  he  has  subjoined  his  own  conjectures;  but  the 
latter  cannot  without  some  difficulty  be  extracted,  as  they 
are  so  interwoven  with  the  passages  he  has  quoted;  that  it 
requires  much  attention  to  discriminate  them.  He  seems  to 
allow  that  America  might  have  received  its  first  inhabitants, 
from  Tartary  and  Hyrcania.  This  he  confirms,  by  observing, 
that  the  lions  and  tigers  which  are  found  in  the  former,  muet 
have  come  from  those  countries,  and  whoso  passage  serves 
for  a  proof  that  the  the  two  hemispheres  join  to  the  north- 
ward of  Asia,  He  then  draws  a  corroboration  of  this  argu- 
ment, from  a  story  he  says  he  has  often  heard  related  by 
Father  Grollon,  a  French  Jesuit,  as  an  undoubted  matter  of 
fact.  This  Father,  after  having  laboured  some  time  in  the 
missions  of  New  France,  passed  over  to  those  of  China.— 
One  day  he  was  travelling  in  Tartary,  he  met  a  Huron  wo- 
man whom  he  had  formerly  known  in  Canada.  He  asked 
her  by  what  adventures  she  had  been  carried  into  a  country 
so  distant  from  her  own.  She  made  answer,  that  having 
been  taken  in  war  she  had  been  conducted  from  nation  to  na. 


tion,  till  she  had  reached  the  place  at  which  she  then   was. 
Monsieur  Charlevoix,  says  further,  that  he  had  been  assured 
by  another  Jesuit,  passing  through  Nantz,  in  his  return  from 
China,  had  related  much   such  another  affair   of  a  Spanish 
woman  from  Florida.     She  also  had  been  taken  by  certain 
Indians,  and  given  to  those  of  a  more  distant  country;   and 
by  these  again  to  another  nation,  till  having  thus  been    suc- 
cessively passed   from    country   to   country,  and   travelled 
through  regions  extremely  cold,  she  at  last  found   herself  in 
Tartary.     Here  she  had  married  a  Tartar,  who  had  attend- 
ed tliQ  conquerors  in  China,  where  she  was  then  settled. — 
He  acknowledges  as  an  allay  to  the  probability  of  these  sto- 
ries, that  those  who  had  sailed  farthest  to  the  eastward   of 
Asia^  by  pursuing  the  coast  of  Jesso,  or  Kamschatka,  have 
pretended  that  they  had  perceived  the  extremity  of  this  con- 
tinent; and  from  thence  have  concluded  that  there  could  not 
possibly  be  any  communication  by  land.     But  he  adds  that 
Francis  Guella,  a  Spaniard,  is  said  to  have  asserted,  that 
this  separation  is  no  more  than  a  straight,  about  one  hundred 
miles  over,  and  that  some  ]ate  voyages  of  the  Japanese  give 
grounds  to  think,  that  this   straight  is  only  a   bay,   above, 
which  there  is  a  passage  over  land.     He  gees  on  to  observe, 
that  though  there  are  few  wild  beasts  to  be  met  with  in  North 
America,  except  a  kind  of  tigers  without  spots,  "which  are 
found  in  the  country  of  the  Iroquois,  yet  towards  the  tropics 
there  are  lions  and  real  tigers,  which  riot  withstand  ing,  might 
have  come  froji  Hyrcania  and  Tartary;  for1  as  by  advancing 
gradually  southward  they  met  with  climates  more  agreeable 
to  their  natures,  they  have  in  time  abandoned  the   northern 
countries.     He  quotes  both  Solinus  and  Pliny,  to  prove  that  ' 
the  Scythian  Anthropophagi  once  depopulated  a  great  extent 
of  country,  as  far  as  the  promontory  Tabin;  and  an  auther  of 
later  date,  jUark  Pol,  a  Venetian,  who,  he  says,  tells  us,  that 
to  the  northeast  of  China  and  Tartary  there  are  vast  unin- 
habited countries,  which  might  be  sufficient  to  confirm  any 
conjectures  concerning  the  retreat  of  a  great  number  of  Scy- 
thians into  America. 

To  this  he  adds,  that  we  find  in  the  ancients  the  names  of 
some  of  these  nations.     Pliny  speaks  of  the  Tabians,  So- 


linus  mentions  the  Apuleans,  who  had  for  their  neighbors 
the  Massagetes,  whom  Pliny  since  assures  us  to  have  entire- 
ly disappeared.  Amianus  Marcellinus  expressly  tells  us, 
that  the  fear  of  the  Anthropophagi  obliged  several  of  the  in- 
habitants of  those  countries  to  ta-ke  refuge  elsewhere.  From 
all  these  authorities  Monsieur  Charlevoix  concludes,  that  there 
is  at  least  room  to  conjecture  that  more  than  one  nation  in 
America  had  a  Scythian  or  Tartarian  original.  He  finishes 
bis  remarks  on  the  authors  he  has  quoted,  by  the  following 
observations:  It  appears  to  me  that  this  controversy  maybe 
reduced  to  the  following  articles;  first  how  the  new  world 
might  have  been  peopled;  and, secondly,  by  whom,  and  by 
what  means  it  has  been  peopled.  Nothing  he  asserts,  may 
be  more  easily  answered  than  the  first.  America  might  have 
been  peopled  as  the  three  other  parts  of  the  world  have  been.. 
Many  difficulties  have  been  formed  on  this  subject,  which, 
have  been  deemed  insolvable,  but  which  are  far  from  being. 
so.  The  inhabitants  of  both  hemispheres  are  certainly  the 
descendants  of  the  same  father;  the  common  parent  of  man- 
kind received  an  express  command  from  Heaven  to  people 
the  whole  world,  and  accordingly  it  has  been  peopled.  To 
bring  this  about,  it  was  necessary  to  overcome  all  difficul- 
ties that  lay  in  the  way,  and  they  have  been  got  over.  Were 
these  difficulties  greater  with  respect  to  peopling  the  extrem- 
ities of  Asia,  Africa  and  Europe,  or  the  transporting  men 
into  the  islands  which  lie  at  a  considerable  distance  from 
those  continents,  than  to  pass  over  into  America?  Certainly 
not.  Navigation,  which  has  arrived  at  so  great  perfection 
within  these  three  or  four  centuries,  might  possibly  have 
been  more  perfect  in  those  early  ages  than  at  this  day.  Who 
can  believe  that  Noah  and  his  immediate  descendants  knew 
less  of  this  art  than  we  do]  that  the  builder  and  pilot  of  the 
largest  ship  that  ever  was,  a  ship  that  was  formed  to  tra- 
verse an  unbounded  ocean,  and  had  so  many  shoals  and  quick- 
sands to  guard  against,  should  be  ignorant  of,  or  should  not 
have  communicated  to  those  of  his  descendants  who  survived 
him,  and  by  whose  means  he  was  to  execute  the  order  of  the 
Great  Creator?  I  say,  who  can  believe  he  should  not  have 
communicated  to  them  the  art  of  sailing  upon  an  ocean, 


which  was  not  only  more  calm  and  pacific,  but  at  the  same 
time  confined  within  its  ancient  limits'?  Admitting  this, 
how  easy  it  is  to  pass,  exclusive  of  the  passage  already  des- 
cribed, by  land  from  the  coast  of  Africa  to  Brazil,  from  the 
Canaries  to  the  Western  Islands,  and  from  them  to  the  An- 
tillsl  From  the  British  Isles,  or  the  coast  of  France,  to 
New-Foundland  the  passage  is  neither  long  nor  difficult;  I 
might  say  as  much  of  that  from  China  to  Japan;  from  Japan, 
or  the  Philipines,  to  the  Isles  Mariannes;  and  from  thence  to 

There  are  islands  at  a  considerable  distance  from  the  con- 
tinent of  Asia,  where  we  have  dot  been  surprised  to  find  in- 
habitants; why  then  should  we  wonder  to  meet  with  people 
in  America?  Nor  can  it  be  imagined  that  the  grandsons  of 
Noah,  when  they  were  obliged  to  separate,  and  spread  them- 
selves in  conformity  to  the  designs  of  God,  over  the  whole 
earth,  should  find  it  absolutely  impossible  to  people  almost 
one  half  of  it.  I  have  been  more  copious  in  my  extracts 
from  this  author  than  I  intended,  as  his  reasons  appear  to  be 
solid,  and  many  of  his  observations  just.  From  this  enco- 
mium, however,  I  must  exclude  the  stones  he  has  introduced 
of  the  Huron  and  Florid  an  women,  which  I  think  I  might 
venture  to  pronounce  fabulous.  I  shall  only  add,  to  give 
my  readers  a  more  comprehensive  view  of  Monsieur  Charle- 
voix's  dissertation,  the  methed  he  proposes  to  come  at  the 
trath  of  what  we  are  in  search  of. 

The  only  means  by  which  this  can  be  done,  he  says,  is  by 
comparing  the  language  of  the  Americans  with  the  different 
nations  from  whence  we  might  suppose  they  have  peregrina- 
ted. If  we  compare  the  former  with  those  words  that  are 
considered  as  primitives,  it  might  possibly  set  us  upon  some 
happy  discovery.  And  this  way  of  ascending  to  the  origin- 
al of  nations,  which  is  by  far  the  least  equivocal,  is  not  so 
difficult  as  might  be  imagined.  We  have  had,  and  still  have, 
travellers  and  missionaries  who  have  attained  the  languages 
that  are  spoken  in  all  the  provincess  of  the  new  world;  it 
would  only  be  necessary  to  make  a  collection  of  their  gram- 
mars and  vocabularies,  and  to  callate  them  with  the  dead  and 
living  languagas  of  the  old  world,  that  pass  for  original^ 


and  the  similarity  might  easily  be  traced.  Even  the  differ- 
ent dialects,  in  spite  of  the  alterations  they  have  undergone, 
still  retain  enough  of  the  mother  tongue  to  furnish  considera- 
ble lights. 

Any  enquiry  into  the  manners,  customs,  religion,  or  tra- 
ditions of  the  Americans,  in  order  to  discover  by  that  means 
their  origin,  he  thinks  would  prove  fallacious.  A  disquisi- 
tion of  that  kind  he  observes,  is  only  capable  of  producing  a 
false  light,  more  likely  to  dazzle,  and  to  make  us  wander 
from  a  right  path,  than  to  lead  us  with  certainty  to  the  point 
proposed.  traditions  are  effaced  from  the  minds  of  such  as 
either  have  not,  or  for  several  ages  have  been  without  those 
helps,  that  are  necessary  to  preserve  them.  And  in  this  sit- 
uation is  full  one  half  of  the  world.  New  events,  and  new 
arrangement  of  things,  give  rise  to  new  traditions  which  ef- 
face the  former,  and  are  themselves  effaced  in  turn.  After 
one  or  two  centuries  have  passed,  there  no  longer  remain  any 
traces  of  the  first  traditions;  and  thus  we  are  involved  in  a 
state  of  uncertainty, 

He  concludes  with  the  following  remarks,  among  many 
others;  unforeseen  accidents,  tempests,  and  shipwrecks,  have 
certainly  contributed  to  people  every  habitable  part  of  the 
world:  and  ought  we  to  wonder  after  this,  at  perceiving  cer- 
tain resemblances,  both  of  persons  and  manners  between  na- 
tions that  arc  most  remote  from  each  other,  when  we  find 
such  a  difference  between  those  that  border  on  one  another? 
As  we  are  destitute  of  historical  monuments,  there  is  noth- 
ing, I  repeat  it,  but  a  knowledge  of  the  primative  languages 
that  is  capable  of  throwing  any  light  upon  those  clouds  of 
impenetrable  darkness.  By  this  inquiry  we  should  at  least 
be  satisfied,  among  that  prodigious  number  of  various  nations 
inhabiting  America,  and  differing  so  much  in  languages  from 
each  other,  which  are  those  who  make  use  of  words  totally 
and  entirely  different  from  those  of  the  old  world,  and  who, 
consequently,  must  be  reckoned  to  have  passed  over  to  Amer- 
ica in  the  earliest  ages,  and  those,  who,  from  the  analogy  of 
their  language  with  such  as  are  at  present  used  in  the  three 
other  parts  of  the  globe,  leave  room  to  judge  that  their  mi- 


gration  has  been  more  recent,  and  which  ought  to  be  attribu- 
ted to  shipwrecks,  or  to  some  accident  similar  to  those  which 
have  been  spoken  of  in  the  course  of  this  treatise. 

I  shall  only  add  the  opinion  of  one  auiher   more,   before  1 
give  my  own  sentiments  on  the  subject,  and  that  is  of  James 
Adair,  Esq.  who  resided  forty  years  among  the  Indians,  and 
published  the  history  of  them  in  the  year    1112.     In  this 
learned  and  systematical  history  of  those  nations,  inhabiting 
the  western  parts  of  the  most  southern   of  the    American 
colonies;  this  gentleman,  without  hesitation,  pronounces  that 
the  American  Aborigines  are  descended  from  the   Israelites, 
either  whilst  they  were  a  maritime  power,  or  soon  after  their 
general  captivity.     This  descent  he  endeavors  to  prove  from 
their  religious  rites,  their  civil  and  martial   customs,  their 
marriages,  their  funeral  ceremonies,  their  manners,  language, 
traditions,  and  from  a  variety  of  other  particulars.     And  so 
complete  is  his  conviction  on  this  head,  that  he   fancies  hfr 
finds  a  perfect  similitude  in  each.     Through  all  these  I  have 
not  time. to  follow  him,  and  shall  therefore  only  give   a   few 
extracts  to  show  on  what  foundation  he  builds  his  conjec- 
tures, and  what  degree  of  credit  he  is  entitled  to  on  this 
point.     He  begins  with  observing,  that"  though  some  have 
supposed  the  Americans  to  be  descended  from   the  Chinese, 
yet  neither  their  religion,  laws  nor  customs,  agree  in  the  least 
with  those  of  the  Chinese;  which  sufficiently  prove  that  they 
are  now  almost  half  a  year  sailing  for  China  (our  auther  does 
not  here  recollect  that  this  is  from  a  high  northern   latitude, 
across  the  line,  and  then  back  again  greatly  to  the  northward 
of  it,  and  not  directly  athwart  the  Pacific  ocean,  for  only  one 
hundred  and  eleven  degrees)  or  from  thence  to  Europe,  it  is 
very  unlikely  they  should  attempt  such    dangerous  discover- 
ies, with  their  supposed  small  vessels,  against  rapid  currents, 
and  in  dark  and  sickly  monsoons.     He  further  remarks,  that 
this  is  more  particularly  improbablej  as  there  is  reason  to  be- 
lieve, that  this  nation  was  unacquainted  with  the  use  of  the 
loadstone  to  direct  their  course.     China,  he  says,  is  about 
eight  thousand  miles  distant  from  the  Atlantic  ocean.     And 
we  are  not  informed  by  any  ancient  writer  of  their  maritime 
skill,  or  so  much ,a,s.  anj  inclination  tjiat  way,  besides  small 


coasting  voyages.  The  winds  blow  likewise,  with  little  va- 
riation, from  east  to  west  with  in  the  latitudes  thirty  and  odd, 
north  and  south;  and  therefore  these  could  not  drive  them  on 
the  American  coast,,  it  lying  directly  contrary  to  such  a 
course.  Neither  could  persons,  according  to  this  writers 
account,  sail  to  America  from  the  north  by  the  way  of  Tarta- 
ry  or  ancient  Scythia;  that  from  its  situation,  never  having 
been  or  can  be  a  maratime  power;  and  it  is  utterly  impracti- 
cable, he  says,  for  any  to  come  to  America  by  sea  from  that 
quarter.  Besides,  the  remaining  traces  of  their  religious 
ceremonies  and  civil  and  martial  customs  are  quiie  opposite 
to  the  like  vestiges  of  the  Old  Scythians.  Even  in  the  mod- 
erate northern  climates  there  is  not  to  be  seen  the  least  trace 
of  any  ancient  stately  buildings,  or  of  any  thick  settlements, 
as  are  said  to  remain  in  the  less  healthy  regions  of  Peru  and 
Mexico.  And  several  of  the  Indian  nations  assure  us,  that 
they  crossed  the  Mississippi  before  they  made  their  present 
northern  settlements;  which,  connected  with  the  former  ar- 
guments, he  concludes  will  sufficiently  explode  that  weak 
opinion  of  the  American  Aborigines  being  lineally  descend- 
ed from  the  Tartars  or  ancient  Scythians. 

Mr.  Adairs  reason  for  supposing  that  the  Americans  derivo 
their  origin  from  the  Jews,  are,  First,  because  they  are  divi- 
ded into  tribes,  and  have  chiefs  over  them  as  the  Israelita 
had.  SecoddJy,  because,  as  by  a  strict  permanent  divine- 
precept,  the  Hebrew  nation  were  ordered  to  worship  at  Jeru- 
salem, Jehovah,  the  true  and  living  God,  so  do  tho  Indians, 
styling  him  Yohewah.  The  ancient  Heathens,  he  adds,  it 
is  well  known  worshipped  a  plurality  of  Gods,  but  the  Indi- 
ans pay  their  religious  devoirs  to  the  great  beneficient  su- 
preme holy  Spirit  of  Fire,  who  resides,  as  they  think,  above 
the  clouds,  and  on  earth  also  with  unpolluted  people.  They 
pay  no  adoration  to  images  or  to  dead  persons,  neither  to  the 
celestial  luminaries,  to  evil  spirits,  nor  to  any  created  being 
whatever.  Thirdly,  because,  agreeably  to  the  theocracy  of 
divine  government  of  Israel,  the  Indians  think  the  Deity  to 
be  the  immediate  head  of  their  state.  Fourthly,  because,  as 
the  Jews  believe  in  the  ministration  of  Angels,  the  Indians 
also  believe,,  that  the  higher  regions  are  inhabited  by  good, 


spirits.  Fifthly,  because  the  Indian  language  and  dialects, 
appear  to  have  the  very  idiorn  and  genius  of  the  Hebrew. — 
Their  words  and  sentences  being  expressive,  concise,  em- 
•phatical.  sonorous,  and  bold,  and  often,  both  in  letters  and 
signification,  are  synonymous  with  the  Hebrew  language. 
Sixthly,  because  they  count  their  time  after  the  manner  of 
the  Hebrews.  Seventhly,  because,  in  conformity  to,  or  af- 
ter the  Jews,  they  have  their  prophets,  high  priests,  and  oth- 
er religious  orders.  Eightly,  because  their  festivals,  fasts, 
and  religious  rites  have  a  great  resemblance  to  those  of  the 
Hebrews.  Ninthly,  because  the  Indians,  before  they  goto 
war,  have  many  preparatory  ceremonies  of  purification  and 
fasting,  like  what  is  recorded  of  the  Israelites.  Tenthly, 
because  the  Fame  taste  for  ornaments,  and  the  same  kind  are 
made  use  of  by  the  Indians,  as  by  the  Hebrews.  These  and 
many  other  arguments  of  c,  similar  nature;  Mr.  Adair  brings 
in  support  of  his  system;  but  f  should  imagine,  that  if  the 
Indians  are  really  derived  from  the  Hebrews,  among  their 
religious  ceremonies,  on  which  he  chiefly  seems  to  build  his 
hypothesis,  the  principal,  that  of  circumcision,  would  never 
have  been  laid  aside,  and  its  very  remembrance  obliterated. 
Thus  numerous  and  diverse  are  the  opinions  of  those  who 
have  hitherto  written  r,n  this  subject!  I  shall  not  however, 
either  endeavor  to  reconcile  them  or  point  out  the  errors  of 
each,  but  to  proceed  to  give  my  own  sentiments  on  the  orig- 
in of  the  Americans;  which  are  founded  on  conclusions  drawn 
from  the  most  rational  arguments  of  the  writers  I  have  men- 
tioned, and  from  rny  own  observations;  the  consistency  of 
these  I  shall  leave  to  the  judgement  of  my  readers.  The 
better  to  introduce  my  conjectures  on  this  head,  it  is  neces- 
sary first  to  ascertain  the  distance  between  America  and 
those  parts  of  the  habitable  globe  that  approach  nearest  to 
it.  The  continent  of  America  as  far  as  we  can  judge  from 
all  the  researches  that  have  been  made  near  the  poles,  ap- 
pears to  be  entirely  separated  from  the  other  quarters  of  the 
world.  That  part  of  Eurrope  which  approaches  nearest  to 
it,  is  the  coast  of  Greenland,  lying  in  about  seventy  degrees 
of  the  north  latitude;  and  which  reaches  within  twelve  de- 
grees of  the  coast  of  Labrador,  situate  on  the  north-east  bor- 


tiers  of  this  continent.  The  coast  of  Guinea  is  the  nearest 
par!  of  Africa;  which  lies  about  eighteen  hundred  and  sixty 
miles  north-east  from  the  Brazils.  The  most  eastern  coast 
of  Asia  which  extends  to  the  Korean  Sea  on  the  north  of 
China,  projects  north-east  through  eastern  Tartary  and  Kain- 
schatka  to  Siberia,  in  about  sixty  degrees  of  north  latitude. 
Towards  which  the  western  coast  of  America,  from  Calfor- 
nia  to  the  Straights  of  Annian,  extend  nearly  north-west, 
and  lie  in  about -six  degress  of  the  same  latitude.  Whether 
the  continent  of  America  stretches  any  father  north  than 
these  straights,  and  joins  to  the  eastern  parts  of  Asia  agree- 
ably to  what  iias  been  asserted  by  some  of  the  writers  I  have 
quoted,  or  whether  the  lands  that  have  been  discovered  in  the 
intermediate  parts  are  only  an  archipelago  of  islands,  verg- 
ing towards  the  opposite  continent,  is  not  yet  ascertained. — 
It  being,  however,  certain  that  they  are  many  considerable 
islands  which  lie  between  the  extremities  of  Asia  and  Amer- 
ica, viz.  Sapan,  Yesso,  or  Jedso,  Gama's  Land,  Behring's 
Isle,  with  many  others  discovered  by  Aschirikow,  and  be- 
sides these,  from  51)  degrees  north  there  appearing  to  be  a 
cluster  of  Islands  that  reach  is  far  as  Siberia,  it  is  brobable 
from  their  proximity  to  America,  that  it  received  its  first  in- 
habitants from  them. 

This  conclusion  is  the  most  rational  I  am  able  to  draw, 
supposing  that  since  the  Aborigines  got  footing  on  this  con- 
tinent, no  extraordinary  or  sudden  change  in  the  position  or 
surface  of  it  has  taken  place,  from  inundations,  earthquakes, 
or  any  revolutions  of  the  earth  that  we  are  at  present  unac- 
quainted with.  To  me  it  appears  highly  improbable,  that  it 
should  have  been  peopled  from  different  quarters,  across  the 
ocean,  as  ethers  have  asserted.  From  the  size  of  the  ships 
made  use  of  in  those  early  ages,  and  the  want  of  the  compass, 
it  cannot  be  supposed  that  any  maritime  nation  would  by 
choice  venture  over  the  unfathomable  ocean,  in  search  of  dis- 
tant continents.  Had  this,  however,  been  attempted,  or  had 
America  been  first  accidentally  peopled  from  ships  freighted 
with  passengers  of  both  sexes,  which  are  driven  by  strong 
easterly  winds  across  the  Atlantic,  these  settlers  must  have 
retained  some  traces  of  the  language  of  the  country  from 

172     ,  JOURNAL  OF 

whence  they  migrated;  and  this,  since  the  discovery  of  it  by. 
the  Europeans,  must  have  been  made  out. 

It  also  appears  extraordinary,  that  several  of  these  acci- 
dental migrations,  as  allowed  by  some,  and  these  from  differ- 
ent parts,  should  have  taken  place.     Upon  the   whole,   af- 
ter the  most  critical  inquiries,  and  the  maturest  deliberation, 
I  am  of  opinion,  that  America  received  its  inhabitants  from 
the  N.  E.  by  way  of  the  Great  Archipelago  just  mentioned, 
and  from  there  alone.     But  this  might  have  been  effected  at 
different  times,  and  from  various  parts:  from  Tartary,  China, 
Japan,  or  Kamchatka,  the  inhabitants  of  these  places  re- 
sembling each   other  in  color,  features  and  shape;  and  who, 
before  some  of  them  acquired  a  knowledge  of  the  arts    and 
sciences,  might  have  likewise  resembled  each  other  in  their 
manners,  customs,  religion,  and  language.     The  only  differ- 
ence between  the  Chinese  nation  and  the  Tartars  lies  in  the 
cultivated  state  of  the  one,  and   the   unpolished  situation  of 
others.     The  former  have  become  a  commercial  people,  and 
dwell  in  houses  farmed  into  regular  towns  and  cities;  the  lat- 
ter live  chiefly  in  tents,  and  rove  about  in  different  hordes, 
without  any  fixed^  abode.    Nor  can  the  long  and  bloody  wars 
these  two  nations  have  been  engaged  in,   exterminate  their 
hereditary  similitude.     The   present  family  of  the  Chinese 
emperors  is  of  Tartarian  extraction;   and   if  they  were  not 
sensible  of  some  claim  beside  that  of  conquest  so  numerous  a 
people  would  scarcely  sit  quiet  under  the  dominion  of  stran- 
gers.    It  is  very  evident  that  some  of  the  manners  end  cus- 
toms of  the  American  Indians  resemble  those  of  the   Tar- 
tars; and  I  make  no  doubt  but  that  in  some  future  era;   and 
this  not  a  very  distant  one,  it  will  be  reduced  to  a  certainty, 
that  during  some  of  the  wars  between  the    Tartars   and  the 
Chinese,  a  part  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  northern  provinces 
were  driven  from  their  native  country,  and  took   refuge   in 
some  of  the  isles  before  mentioned,  and  from   thenca  found 
their  way  into  America.     At  different  periods   each   nation 
might  prove  victorious,  and  the  conquered  by    turns   fly    be- 
fore their  conquerors,  and  from  hence  might  arise  the  simili- 
tude of  the  Indians  to  all  these  people,  and    that   animosity 
which  exists  between  so  many  of  their  tribes.     It  appears. 


plainly  to  me,  that  a  great  similarly  between  the  Indians  and 
Chinese  is  conspicuous,  in  that  particlar  custom  of  shaving 
or  plucking  off'  the  hair,  and  leaving  only  a  smalktufi  on  the 
crown  of  the  head.  This  mode  is  said  to  have  been  enjoin- 
ed by  the  Tartarian  emperors  on  their  accession  to  the  throne 
of  China,  and  consequently  is  a  farther  proof  that  this  cus- 
tom was  in  use  among  the  Tartars;  to  whom,  ns  well  as  the 
Chinese,  the  Americans  might  be  indebted  for  it.  Many 
words  are  alpo  used  by  the  Chinese  and  Indiana,  which  have 
a  resemblance  to  each  other,  not  only  in  the  sound,  but  their 
signification.  The  Chinese  call  a  slave  shungo;  and  the 
Naudowesdie  Indians,  whose  language,  from  their  little  in- 
tercourse with  the  Europeans,  is  the  least  corrupted,  term  a 
dog  shungush.  The  former  denominate  one  species  of  their 
tea,  shousong;  the  latter  call  their  tobacco  shossau.  Many 
other  of  the  words  used  by  the  Indians  contain  the  syllables, 
che,  chaw,  and  chu,  after  the  uialect  of  the  Chinese. 

There  probably  might  be  found  a  similar  connexion  be- 
tween the  language  of  the  Tartars  and  the.  American  Abor- 
igines, were  we  as  well  acquainted  with  it  as  v;e  are,  from  a 
commercial  intercourse,  with  that  of  the  Chinese.  I  am 
confirmed  in  these  conjectures,  by  the  accounts^of  Kamschat- 
ka,  published  a  few  years  ago  by  order  of  the  Empress  of 
Russia.  The  author  of  which  says,  that  the  sea  which  di- 
vides that  peninsula  from  America  is  full  of  islands, -and  that 
the  distance  between  Tschukostskoi  NOES,  a  promontory 
which  lies' at  the  eastern  extremity  of  that  country,  and  the 
coast  of  America,  is  not  more  than  two  degrees  and  a  half  of 
a  great  circle.  He  further  says,  that  there  is  the  greatest 
reason  to  suppose,  that  Asia  and  America  once  joined' at  this 
place,  as  the  coasts  of  both  continents  appear  to  have  been 
broken  into  capes  and  bays,  which  answer  each  other:  more 
especially  as  the  inhabitants  of' this  part  of  Loth  resemble 
each  other  in  their  persons,  habit?,  customs  and  food.  Their 
language  indeed  he  observes,  does  not  appear  to  be  the  same, 
but  then  the  inhabitants  of  each  district,  in  Kamschatka  speak 
a  language  as  different  from  each  other,  as  from  that  spoken 
on  the  opposite  coast.  These  observations,  to  which  he  adds, 
the  similarity  of  the  boats  of  the  inhabitants  of  each  coast3 


and  a  remark  that  the  natives  of  this  part  of  America  are 
wholly  strangers  to  wine  and  tobacco,  which  he  looks  upon 
as  a  proof  that  they  have  as  yet  Ind  no  communication  with 
the  natives  of  Europe,  he  says,  amount  to  little  less  than 
a  demonstration,  that  America  ivas  peopled  from  this  part  of 

The  limits  of  my  present  undertaking-  will  not  permit  me 
to  dwell  any  longer  on  this  subject,  or  to  enumerate  any  oth- 
er proof  in  favor  of  my  hypothesis.     I  am,  however,  so  thor- 
oughly convinced  of  the  certainty  of  it,  and  so  desirous  have 
I  been  to  obtain  every  testimonv  which  can  be  procured  in  its 
support,  that  I  once  made  an  offer  to  a  private  society  of  gen- 
tlemen, who  were  curious  in  such  researches,  and  to  whom  I 
had  communicated  my  sentiments  on  this  point  that  I  would 
undertake  a  journey,  on  receiving  such  supplies  as  were  need- 
ful, through  the  north-east  parts  of  Europe  and  Asia  to  the 
interior  parts  of  America,  and  from  England,  making,  as  I 
proceeded,  such  observations  both  on  the  languages  and  man- 
ners of  the  people  with  whom  I  should  be  conversant,  as 
might  tend  to  illustrate  the  doctrine  I  have  here  laid  down, 
and  to  satisfy  the  curiosity  of  the  learned  or  inquisitive:  but 
as  this  proposal  was  judged  rather  to  require  a  national  than 
a  private  support,  it  was  not  carried  into  execution.     I  am 
happy  to  find,  since  I  formed  the  foregoing  conclusions,  that 
they  correspond  with  the  sentiments  of  that  great  and  learn- 
ed historian,  Doctor  Robertson;  and  though  with  him,  I  ac- 
knowledge that  the  investigation,  from  its  nature,  is  BO  ob- 
scure and  intricate,  that  the  conjectures  I  have  made  can  on- 
ly be  considered  as  conjectures,  and  not  indisputable  conclu- 
sions, yet  they  carry  with  them  a  greater  degree  of  probabil- 
ity, than  the  suppositions  of  those  who  assert  that  this  con- 
tinent was  peopled  from  anotner  quarter.     One  of  the  Doc- 
tor's quotations  from  the  Journals  of  Dehring  and  Tschiri- 
kow,  who  sailed  from  Kamschatka,  about  the  year  1741,  in 
quest  of  the  new  world,  appears  to  carry  great  weight  with 
it,  and  to  afford  our  conclusions  firm  support:  These  comman- 
ders, having  shaped  their  course  towards  the  east,  discovered 
land,  which  to  them  appeared  to  be  part  of  the  American 
continent;  and  according  to  their  observations,  it  seems  to  be 


situated  within  a  few  degrees  of  the  north-west  coast  of  Cal- 
ifornia. They  had  there  some  intercourse  with  the  inhabi- 
tants, who  seemed  to  them  to  resemble  the  North  Americans; 
as  they  presented  to  the  Russians  the  calumet  or  pipe  of  peace;, 
which  is  a  symbol  of  friendship  universal  among  the  people 
of  North  America  and  an  usage  of  arbitrary  institution  pecu- 
liar to  them."  One  of  this  incomparable  writer's  own  argu- 
ments in  support  of  his  hypothesis,  is  also  urged  with  great 
judgment,  and  appears  to  be  nearly  conclusive.  He  says, 
"We  may  lay  it  down  as  a  certain  principle  in  this  inquiry ,. 
that  America  was  not  peopled  by  a^y  nation  of  the  ancient 
continent,  which  had  made  considerable  progress  in  civiliza- 
tion. The  inhabitants  of  the  new  world  were  in  a  state  of 
society  so  extremely  rude,  as  to  be  unacquainted  with  those 
arts  which  are  tiie  first  essays  of  human  ingenuity  in  its  ad- 
vance towards  improvement.  Even  the  most  cultivated  na- 
tions of  America  were  strangers  to  many  of  those  simple  in- 
ventions, which  were  almost  coeval  with  society  in  other  parts 
of  the  world,  and  were  known  in  the  earliest  periods  of  civil 
life.  From  this  it  is  manifest  that  the  tribes  which  origin- 
ally migrated  to  America  came  off  from  nations  which  must 
have  been  no  less  barbarous  than  their  posterity,  at  the  time 
when  they  were  first  discovered  by  the  Europeans.  If  ever 
the  use  of  iron  had  been  known  to  the  savages  of  America, 
or  to  the  progenitors,  if  ever  they  had  employed  a  plough,  a 
loom,  or  a  forge,  the  utility  of  these  inventions  would  have 
preserved  them,  and  it  is  impossible  that  they  should  have 
been  abandoned  or  forgotten." 


Observations  made  in  a  voyage,  commencing  at  St.  Catharine's 
landing^  on  the  east  bank  of  the  Mississippi,  proceeding 
downwards  to  the  mouth  of  the  Red  River,  and  from  thence 
ascending  that  river,,  as  high  as  the  Hot  Spring's,  in  the 
proximity  of  the  last  mentioned  River,  extracted  from  the 
Journals  of  William  Dunbar,  Esq.  and  Doctor  Hunter. 

Mr.  Dunbar,  Doctor  Hunter,  and  the  party  employed  by 
the  United  States  to  make  a  survey  of,  and  explore  the  coun- 


try  traversed  by  the  Washita  river,  left  St.  Catharine's  land- 
ing, on  the  Mississippi,  in  latitude  31,  26,  30>  N.  and  longi- 
tude 6h,  5,  56,  W.  from  the  meridian  of  Greenwich,  on  Tues- 
day, the  16th  of  October,  1840.  A  little  distance  below 
St.  Catharine's  creek,  and  five  leagues  from  Natchez,  they 
passed  the  White  Cliffs,  composed  chiefly  of  sand,  surmoun* 
ted  by  pine,  and  from  one  hundred  to  two  hundred  feet  high. 
When  the  waters  of  the  Mississippi  are  low,  the  base  of  the 
cliff  is  uncovered,  which  consists  of  different  colored  clays, 
and  some  beds  of  ochre,  over  which  their  lies,  in  some  pla- 
ces, a  thin  lamina  of  iron  ore.  Small  springs  possessing  a 
petrifying  quality  flow  over  the  clay  and  ochre,  and  numer- 
ous logs  and  pieces  of  timber,  converted  into  stone  are  strew- 
ed about  the  beach.  Fine  pure  argil  of  various  colors,  chief- 
ly white  and  red,  is  fjund  here. 

On  the  17th  they  arrived  at  the  mouth  of  the  Red  river, 
the  confluence  of  which  with  the  Mississippi,  agreeably  to 
the  observations  of  Mr.  de  Ferrer,  lies  in  latitude  31,  1, 15, 
N.  and  longitude  6h.  7,  11,  west  of  Greenwich.  Red  river 
is  here  about  five  hundred  yards  wide,  and  without  any  sen- 
sible current.  The  banks  of  the  river  are  clothed  with  wil- 
low; the  land  low  and  subject  to  inundation,  to  the  height  of 
thirty  feet  or  more  above  the  level  of  the  water  at  this  time. 
The  mouth  of  the  Red  river  is  accounted  to  be  seventy-five 
leagues  from  New  Orleans,  and  three  miles  higher  up  than 
the  Chafalaya,  or  Opelpusa  river,  which  was  probably  a  con- 
tinuation of  the  Red  river  when  its  waters  did  not  unite 
with  those  of  the  Mississippi,  but  during  the  inundation. 

On  the  18th,  the  survey  of  the  Red  river  was  commenced, 
and  on  the  evening  of  the  19th,  the  party  arrived  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Black  river,  in  latitude  31,  15,  48,  N.  and 
about  26  miles  from  the  Mississippi*  Red  river  derives  its 
name  from  the  rich  fat  earth  or  marl,  or  that  color  borne'down 
by  the  floods;  the  last  of  which  appeared  to  have  deposited 
on  the  high  bank  a  stratum  of  upwards  of  half  an  inch  in 
thickness.  The  vegetation  on  its  banks  is  surprisingly  lux- 
uriant; no  doubt,  owing  to  the  deposition  of  marl  during  iti 
annual  floods.  The  willows  grow  to  a  good  size;  but  other 
forest  trees  are  much  smaller  than  those  seen  on  the  bankf 


of  the  Mississippi.  As  you  advance  up  the  river,  it  grade- 
ally  narrows;  in  latitude  31,  08,  N.  it  is  about  two  hundred 
yards  wide,  which  width  is  continued  to  the  mouth  of  Black 
river,  where  each  of  them  appears  one  hundred  and  fifty 
yards  across.  The  banks  of  the  rivex  are  covered  with  pea 
vine,  and  several  sons  of  grass  bearing  seed,  which  geese 
and  ducks  eat  very  greedily;,  and  there  are  generally  seen 
willows  growing  on  one  side,  and  on  the  other  a  small  growth 
of  black  oak,  paccawn,  hickory,  elm,  &c.  The  current  in 
the  Red  river  is  so  moderate,  as  scarcely  to  afford  an  imped- 
iment to  its  ascent. 

On  sounding  the  Black  river,  a  little  above  its  mouth, 
there  was  found  twenty  feet  of  water,  with  a  bottom  of  black 
sand.  The  water  of  Black  river  is  rather  clearer  than  the 
Ohio,  and  of  a  warm  temperature,  which  it  may  receive  from 
the  water  flowing  into  it  from  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi, 
particularly  by  the  Catahoola.  At  noon  on  the  23d,  by  a 
good  meridian  observation,  they  ascertained  their  latitude  to 
be  30,  36,  29,  N.  and  were  then  a  little  below  the  mouths 
of  the  Catahoola,  Washita,  and  Bayou  Tenza,  the  united 
waters  of  which  form  the  Black  river.  The  current  is  very 
gentle  the  whole  length  of  the  Black  river,  which  in  many 
places  does  not  exceed  eighty  yards  in  width.  The  banks 
on  the  lower  part  of  the  river  present  a  great  luxuriance  ef 
vegitation  and  rank  grass,  with  red  and  black  oak,  ash,  pac- 
cawn,  hickory,  and  some  elms.  The  soil  is  black  marl,  mix- 
ed with  a  moderate  portion  of  sand,  resembling  much  the 
soil  on  the  Mississippi  banks;  yet  the  forest  trees  are  not  lof- 
ty, like  those  on  the  margin  of  the  Great  river,  but  resemb- 
ling the  growth  on  the  Red  riv«r.  In  latitude  31,  22,  46, 
N.  they  observed  that  canes  grew  on  several  parts  of  the 
right  bank,  a  proof  that  the  land  is  not  deeply  overflowed; 
perhaps  from  one  to  three  feeU  the  banks  have  the  appear- 
ance of  stability;  very  little  willow  or  other  productions  of 
a  newly  formed  soil  on  either  side.  On  advancing  up  the 
river,  the  timber  becomes  larger,  in  some  places  rising  to  the 
height  of  forty  feet;  jet  the  land  is  liable  to  be  inundated,, 
not  from  the  waters  of  this  small  river,  but  from  the  intm- 
fkm  of  its  more  powerful  neighbor  the  Mississippi.  The? 


lands  decline  rapidly,  as  in  all  alluvial  countries,  from  the 
margin  to  the  cypress  swamps,  where  more  or  less  water 
stagnates  all  the  year  round.  On  the  21st  they  passed  a 
small,  but  elevated  island,  said  to  be  the  only  one  in  the  riv- 
er tor.  more  than  one  hundred  leagues,  ascending.  On  the 
left  bank,  near  this  island,  a  small  settlement  of  a  couple  of 
acres  has  been  begun  by  a  man  and  his  wife.  The  banks 
are  not  less  than  forty  feet  above  the  present  level  of  the  wa- 
ter in  the  river,  and  are  but  rarely  overflowed;  on  both  sides 
they  are  clothed  with  rich  cane  brake,  pierced  by  creeks  fit 
to  carry  boats  during  the  inundation. 

They  saw  many  cormorants,  and  the  hooping  crane;  geeee 
and  ducks  are  not  yet  abundant^  but  are  said  to  arrive  in 
myriads,  with  the  rains  and  winter's  cold.  They  shot  a 
fowl  of  the  duck  kind,  whose  foot  was  partially  divided,  and 
the  body  covered  with  a,bluisb.or  lead  Colored  plumage.  On 
the  morning  :of  the  22d,,  they  observed,  green  matter  floating 
on  the  river,  supposed  :to  come  from  the  Catahoola  and  other 
lakes  and  bayous  of  stagnant  water,  which,,  when  raised  a 
little  by  rain,  flow  into  the. Black  river;  and  also  many  patch- 
es of  an  aquatic  plant  resembling  small  islands,  some  float- 
ing on  the  surface  of  the  river,  and  others  adhering  to,  or 
resting  on  the  shore  and  logs.  On  examining  this  plant,  it 
was  found  to  have  a  hollow  jointed  stem,  with  roots  of  the 
same  form,  extremely  light,  with  very  narrow  willow  shap- 
ed leaves  projecting  from  the  joint,  embracing  however,  the 
whole  of  the  tube,  and  extending  to  the  next  inferior  joint  or 
knot.  The  extremity  of  each  branch,  is  terminated  by  a 
spike  of  very  slender,  narrow  seminal.leaves  from  one  to  two 
inches  in  length,  and  one  tenth,  or  less  in  breadth,  producing 
its  seed  on  the  under  side  of  the  leaf,  in  a  double  row  almost 
in  contact:  the  grains  alternately  placed  in  perfect  regulari- 
ty; not  being  able  to  find  the  flower,  its  clais  and  order  could 
not  be. determined,  although  it  is  .not  probably  new.  To- 
wards the  upper  part  of  the  Black  river,  the  shores  abound- 
ed with  muscles  and  perriwinkles.  The  muscles  were  of 
the  kind  called  peal  muscles.  The  men  dressed  a  quantity 

of  them,  considering  them  as  agreeable  food:  but  Mr.  D 

found  them  tough  and  unpalatable. 


On  arriving  at  the  mouth  of  the  Catahoola,  they  landed 
to  procure  information  from  a  Frenchman  settled  there. — 
Having'  a  grant  from  the  Spanish  government,  he  has  made 
a  small  settlement,  and  keeps  a  ferry  boat  for  carrying  over 
men  and  horses  travelling  to  and  from  Natchez,  and  the  set- 
tlements on  Red  river  and  on  the  Washita  river.  The  coun- 
try here  is  all  alluvial.  In  process  of  time,  the  river  shutting 
up  ancient  passages  and  elevating  the  banks  over  which  their 
waters  pass,  no  longer  communicate  with  the  same  facility  as 
formerly;  the  consequence  is,  that  many  larger  tracts  formerly 
subject  to  inundation  are  now  entirely  exeropt  from  that  in- 
convenience. Such  is  the  situation  of  a  most  valuable  tract 
upon  which  this  Frenchman  is  settled.  His  house  stands  on 
an  Indian  mount,  with  several  others  in  view.  There  is  al- 
so a  species  of  rampart  surrounding  this  place,  and  one  very 
elevated  mount,  a  view  and  description  of  which  is  postpon^ 
ed  till  the  return;  their  present  situation  not  allowing  of  the 
requisite  delay.  The  soil  is  equal  to  the  best  Mississippi 

From  this  place  they  proceeded  to  the  mouth  of  Washita, 
in  latitude  35,  37,  7,  N.  and  encamped  on  the  evening  of  f 
the  23d. 

This  river  derives  its  appellation  from  the  name  of  an  In- 
dian tribe  formerly  resident  on  its  banks;  the  remnant  of -f 
which,  it  is  said,  went  into  the  great  plains  to  the  westward, 
and  either  compose  a  small  tribe  themselves,  or  are  incorpo*^ 
rated  into  another  nation.  The  Black  river  looses  its  name  * 
at  the  junction  of  Washita,  Catahoola,  and  Tenza  although 
our  maps  represent  it  as  taking  place  of  the  Washita. — 
The  Tenza  and  Catahoola  are  also  named  from  Indian  tribe* 
now  extinct:  The  latter  is  a  creek  twelve  leagues  long, 
which  is  the  issue  of  a  lake  of  the  same  name,  eight  leagues 
in  length  and  about  two  leagues  in  breadth.  It  lies  west 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Catahoola,  and  communicates  with 
the  Red  river  during  the  great  annual  inundation.  At  the 
west  or  northwest  angle  of  the  lake,  a  creek  called  Little 
River,  enters,  which  preserves  a  channel  ,with  running  wa- 
ter at  all  seasons,  meandering  along  the  bed  of  the  lake;  but 
in  other  parts  its  superfices,  during  the  dry  season  from  July  • 


to  November,  and  often  later,  is  completely  drained,  and  be- 
comes covered  with  the  most  luxnricnt  herbage;  the  bed  of 
the  lake  then  becomes  the  residence  of  immense  herds  of 
deer,  of  turkeys,  geese,  cranes,  &c.  which  feed  on  the  grass 
and  grain.  Bayou  Tenza  serves  only  to  drain  off  a  part  of 
the  waters  of  the  inundation  from  the  low  lands  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi, which  here  communicate  with  the  Black  river  dur- 
ing the  season  of  high  water. 

Between  the  mouth  of  the  Washita  and  Vellemont's 
prairie  on  the  right,  the  current  of  the  river  is  gentle,  and 
the  banks  favorable  for  towing.  The  lands  on  both  sides 
have  the  appearance  of  being  above  the  inundation;  the  tim- 
ber generally  such  as  high  lands  produce,  being  chiefly  red, 
white  and  black  oaks,  interspersed  with  a  variety  of  other 
trees.  The  magnolia  grandiflora,  that  infallible  sign  of  the 
land  not  being  subject  to  inundation,  is  not,  however,  among 
them.  Along  the  banks  a  stratum  of  solid  clay,  or  marl,  is 
observable,  apparently  of  ancient  deposition.  It  lies  in  ob- 
lique positions,  making  an  angle  of  nearly  30  degrees  with 
the  horizon,  and  generally  inclined  with  the  descent  of  the 
river,  although  in  a  few  cases  the  position  was  contrary. — 
Timber  is  seen  projecting  from  under  the  solid  bank,  which 
seems  indurated,  and  unquestionably  very  ancient,  present- 
ing a  very  different  appearance  from  recently  formed  soil. — 
The  river  is  about  80  yards  wide.  A  league  above  the 
mouth  of  the  Washita,  the  Bayou  Haha  comes  in  unexpect- 
edly from  the  right,  and  is  one  of  the  many  passages  through 
which  the  waters  of  the  great  inundation  penetrate  and  per- 
vade all  the  low  countries,  annihilating,  for  a  time,  the  cur- 
rents of  the  lesser  rivers  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  Missis- 
sippi. The  vegetation  is  remarkably  vigorous  along  the  al- 
luvial banks,  which  are  covered  with  a  thick  shrubbery,  and 
innumerable  plants  in  full  blossom  at  this  late  season. 

Villemont's  prairie  is  so  named  in  consequence  of  its  be* 
ing  included  within  a  grant  under  the  French  government 
to  a  gentleman  of  that  name.  Many  other  parts  of  the  Wash- 
ita are  named  after  their  early  proprietors.  The  French 
people  projected  and  began  extensive  settlements  on  this 
river;  but  the  genera}  jna/ssapre  planned,  and  in  part  execu- 


ted  by  the  Indians  against  them,  and  the  consequent  destruc- 
titfn  of  the  Natchez  tribe  by  the  French,  broke  up  all  these 
.undertakings,  and  they  were  not  recommenced  under  that 
government.  Those  prairies  are  plains,  or  savannas,  with- 
out timber;  generally  very  fertile,  and  producing  an  exuber- 
ance of  strong,  thick  and  coarse  herbage.  When  a  piece  of 
ground  has  once  got  into  this  state,  in  an  Indian  country,  it 
can  have  no  opportunity  of  re-producing  timber,  it  being  an 
invariable  practice  to  set  fire  to  dry  grass  in  the  fall  or  win- 
ter, to  attain  the  advantage  of  attacking  game  when  the 
young  tender  grass  begins  to  spring:  this  destroys  the  young 
timber;  and  the  prairie  annually  gains  upon  the  woodland. 
It  is  probable  that  the  immense  plains  known  to  exist  in  A- 
merica,  may  owe  their  origin  to  this  custom.  The  plains  of 
the  Washitalies  chiefly  on  the  east  side,  and  being  general- 
ly formed  like  the  Mississippi  land,  sloping  from  the  bank  of 
the  river  to  the  great  river,  they  are  more  or  less  subject  to 
inundation  in  the  rear;  and  in  certain  great  floods  the  water 
•has  advanced  so  far  as  to  be  ready  to  pour  over  the  margin 
into  the  Washita.  This  has  now  become  a  very  rare  thing, 
and  it  may  be  estimated  that  from  a  quarter  of  a  mile  to  a 
mile  in  depth,  will  remain  free  from  inundation  during  high 
floods.  This  is  pretty  much  the*  case  with  those  lands  near- 
ly as  high  as  the  post  of  the  Washita,  with  the  exception  of 
certain  ridges  of  primitive  high-land;  the  rest' being  evident- 
ly alluvial,  although  not  now  subject  to  be  inundated  by  the 
Washita  river,  in  consequence  of  the  great  depth  which  the 
bed  of  the  river  has  acquired  by  abrasion.  On  approaching 
towards  the  bayou  Louis,  which  empties  its  waters  into  the 
Washita  on  the  right,  a  little  below  the  rapids,  there  is  a 
great  deal  of  high  land  on  both  sides,  which  produces  pine 
and  other  timber,  not  the  growth  of  inundation  lands.  At 
the  foot  of  the  rapids,  the  navigation  of  the  river  is  impeded 
by  the  beds  of  gravels  formed  in  it.  The  first  rapids  lie  in 
lattitude  31,  48,  75,  5,  N.  a  little  above  which  there  is  a 
high  ridge  of  primitive  earth,  studded  with  abundance  of 
fragments  of  rocks,  or  stone,  which  appear  to  have  been 
thrown  lip  to  the  surface  in  a  very  irregular  manner.  The 
stone  is  of  friable  nature^  some  of  it  having  the  appearance 


t)f  indurated  clay;  the  outside  is  blackish  from  exposure  to 
the  air;  within  it  is  a  grayish  white;  it  is  said  that  in  the 
hill  the  strata  are  regular  and  that  good  grindstones  may  be 
here  obtained.  The  last  of  the  rapids,  which  is  formed  by 
a  ledge  of  rocks  crossing  the  entire  bed  of  the  river,  was 
passed  in  the  evening  of  the  27th;  above  it  the  water  became 
again  like  a  mill  pond  and  about  one  hundred  yards  wide. — 
The  whole  of  these  first  shoals,  or  rapids,  embraced  an  ex- 
tent of  about  a  mile  and  a  half;  the  obstruction  was  not  con- 
tinued, but  felt  at  short  intervals  in  this  distance.  On  the 
right,  about  four  leagues  from  the  rapids,  they  passed  the 
"Bayou  Aux  Boeufs,"  a  little  above  a  rocky  hill:  high  lands 
and  savannas  are  seen  on  the  right.  On  sounding  the  river 
they  found  three  fathoms  water  on  a  bottom  of  mud  and  sand. 
The  banks  of  the  river  above  the  bayou,  seem  to  retain  very 
little  alluvial  soil;  the  highland  earth,  which  is  a  sandy  loam 
of  a  light  gray  color,  with  streaks  of  red  sand  and  clay,  is 
seen  on  the  left  bank;  .the  soil  not  rich,  bearing  pines,  inter- 
spersed with  red  oak,  hickory,  and  dog-wood.  The  river  is 
from  sixty  to  one  hundred  yards  wide  here,  but  decreases  as 
you  advailce.  The  next  rapid  is  made  by  a  ledge  of  rocks 
traversing  the  river,  and  narrowing  the  water  channel  to 
about  thirty  yards.  The  width  between  the  high  banks  can- 
not be  less  than  one  hundred  yards,  and  the  banks  from  thhv 
ty  to  forty  feet  high.  In  latitude  32,  10,  13,  rapids  and 
shoals  again  occurred,  and  the  channel  was  very  narrow; 
the  sand-bars,  at  every  point,  extended  so  far  into  the  bend 
as  to  leave  little  more  than  the  breadth  of  the  boat  of  water 
sufficiently  deep  for  her  passage,  although  it  spreads  over 
the  width  of  seventy  or  eighty  yards  upon  the  shoal. 

In  the  afternoon  of  the  31st,  they  passed  a -little  planta- 
tion or  settlement  on  the  right,  and  at  night  arrived  at  three 
others  adjoining  each  other.  T&ese  settlements  are  on  a 
plain  or  prairie,  the  soil  of  which  we  may  be  assured  is  al- 
luvial from  the  regular  slope  which  the  Jand  has  from  the 
river.  The  bed  of  the  river  is  now  sufficiently  deep  to  free 
them  from  the  inconvenience  of  its  inundation;  yet  in  the 
rear,, the  waters  of  the  Mississippi  approach,  and  sometimes 
leave  dry  but  a  narrpvy  strip  along  the  bank  of  the  river. — 


It  is  however,  now  more  common,  that  the  extent  of  the 
fields  cultivated  (from  one  fourth  to  one  half  mile)  remains 
dry  during  the  season  of  inundation:  the  soil  here  is  very 
good,  but  not  equal  to  the  Mississippi  bottoms;  it  may  be  es- 
teemed second  rate.  At  a  small  distance  to  the  east  are  ex- 
tensive cypress  swamps,  over  which  the  waters  of  the  inun- 
dation always  stand  to  the  depth  of  from  fifteen  to  twenty- 
five  feet.  On  the  west  side  after  passing  over  the  valley  of 
the  river,  whose  breadth  varies  from  a  quarter  of  a  mile  to 
two  miles,  or  more,  the  land  assumes  a  considerable  eleva- 
tion, from  one  hundred  to  three  hundred  feet,  and  extends  all 
along  to  the  settlements  of  the  Red  river.  These  high  lands 
are  reported  to  be  poor,  and  badly-  watered,  being  chiefly 
what  is  termed  a  pine  barren.  There  is  here  a  ferry  and 
road  of  communication  between  the  post  of  the  Washita, 
and  the  Natchez,  and  a  fork  of  this  road  passes  to  the  settle- 
ment called  the  rapids,  on  Red  river,  distance  from  this  place 
by  computation  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles. 

On  this  part  of  the  river,  lies  a  considerable  tract  of  land 
granted  by  the  Spanish  government  to  the  Marquis  of  Mai- 
son  Rouge,  a  French  emigrant,  who  bequeathed  it  with  all 
his  property  to  M.  Bouligny.  son  of  the  late  Colonel  of  the 
Louisiana  regiment,  and  by  him  sold  to  Daniel  Clarke.  It  is 
said  to  extend  from  the  post  of  \Yashita  with  a  breadth  of 
the  two  leagues,  including  the  river,  down  to  the  Bayou  Cal- 
umet; the  computed  distance  of  which  along  the  river  is 
called  thirty  leagues,  but  supposed  not  more  than  twelve  in 
a  direct  line. 

On  the  6th  of  November,  in  the  afternoon,  the  party  arri- 
ved at  the  post  of  the  Washita,  in  latitude  32,  37,  25,  N. 
where  they  were  politely  received  by  Lieut.  Bovvmar,  who 
immediately  offered  the  hospitality  of  his  dwelling  with  all 
the  services  in  his  power* 

From  the  ferry  to  this  place,  the  navigation  of  the  river  is, 
at  this  season,  interrupted  by  many  shoals  and  rapids.  The 
general  width  is  from  eighty  to  a  hundred  yards.  The 
water  is  extremly  agreeable  to  drink,  and  much  clearer 
than  that  of  the  Ohio.  In  this  respect  it  is  very  unlike 
its  two  neighbors,  the  Arkansas  and  fted  rivers,  whose  wa-> 


ters  are  loaded  with  earthy  matters  of  a  reddish  brown  col- 
or, giving  to  them  a  chocolate  like  appearance;  and,  when, 
those  waters  are  low,  are  not  portable,  being  brackish  from 
the  great  number  of  salt  springs  which  flow  into  them,  and 
probably  from  the  beds  of  rock  salt  over  which  they  may 
pass.  The  banks  of  the  river  presented  very  little  appear- 
ance of  alluvial  land,  but  furnished  an  infinitude  of  beauti- 
ful landscapes,  heightened  by  the  vivid  coloring  they  derive 
from  the  autumnal  changes  of  the  leaf,  Mr.  Dunbar  observes, 
that  the  change  of  color  in  the  leaves  of  Vegetables,  which 
is  probably  occasioned  by  the  oxygen  of  the  atmosphere  act- 
ing on  the  vegetable  matter,  deprived  of  the  protecting  pow- 
er of  vital  principle,  may  serve  as  an  excellent  guide  to  the 
naturalist  who  directs  his  attention  to  a  discovery  of  new 
objects  for  the  use  of  the  dyer.  For  he  has  always  remark- 
ed that  the  leaves  of  those  trees  whose  bark  or  wood  are 
known  to  produce  a  dye,  are  changed  in  autumn  to  the  same 
color  which  is  extracted  in  the  dyer's  vat  from  the  wood; 
more  especially  by  the  use  of  mordants.,  as  ailum,  &/c.  which 
yields  oxygen:  thus  the  foliage  of  the  hickory  and  oak,  which 
produce  the  quercitron  bark,  is  changed  before  its  tali  into  a 
beautiful  yellow:  other  oaks  assume  a  fawn  color,  a  liver  col- 
or, or  blood  color,  and  are  known  to  y it-Id  dyes  of  the  same 

In  latitude  32.  18.  N  Doctor  Hunter  discovered  along  the 
riverside  a  substance  nearly  resembling  mineral  coal;  its  ap- 
pearance was  that  of  the  carbonated  wooc  described  by  Kir- 
wan.  It  does  not  easily  burn;  but  on  beiug  applied  to  the 
flame  of  a  candle,  it  sensibly  increased  it,  and  yielded  a  faint 
smell,  resembling  in  a  slight  degree,  that  of  the  gun  lac  of 
common  sealing-wax. 

Soft  friable  stone  is  common,  and  great  quantities  of  grav- 
el and  sand,  upon  the  beaches  in  this  part  of  the  river.  A 
reddish  clay  appears  in  the  stfatta,  uiuch  indurated  and 
blackened  by  exposure  to  the  light  and  air. 

The  position  called  Fort  Miro;  being  the  property  of  a 
private  person,  who  was  formerly  civil  commandant  here, 
the  lieutenant  ha$  taken  post  about  four  hundred  yards  low-, 
er;  has  built  him/self  some  log  houses,  and  inclosed  them  with; 


a  slight  stockade.  Upon  viewing  the  country  east  of  the 
river,  it  is  evidently  alluvial;  the  surface  has  a  gentle  slope 
from  the  river  to  the  rear  of  the  plantations.  The  land  is  of 
excellent  quality,  being  a  rich  black  mould  to  the  depth  of  a 
foot,  under  which  there  is  a  friable  loam  of  a  brownish  liver 

At  the  post  on  the  Washita,  they  procured  a  boat  of  less 
draught  of  water  than  the  one  in  which  they  ascended  the 
river  thus  far;  at  noon,  on  the  1 1th  of  November,  they  pro- 
ceeded on  the  voyage,  and  in  the  evening  encamped  at  the 
plantation  of  Baron  Bastrop. 

This  small  settlement,  on  the  Washita  and  some  of  the 
creeks  falling  into  it,  contains  not  more  than  five  hundred 
persons,  of  all  ages  and  sexes.  It  is  reported,  however,  that 
there  is  a  great  quantity  of  excellent  land  upon  these  creeks, 
and  that  the  settlement  is  capable  of  great  extension,  and 
may  be  expected,  with  an  accession  of  population,  to  become 
very  flourishing.  There  are  three  merchants  settled  at  the 
post,  who  supply,  at  very  exorbitant  prices,  the  inhabitants 
with  their  necessaries;  these,  with  the  garrison,  two  small 
planters,  and  a  tradesman  or  two,  constitute  the  present  vil- 
lage. A  great  proportion  of  the  inhabitants  continue  the 
old  practice  of  hunting,  during  the  winter  season;  and  they 
exchange  their  peltry  for  necessaries,  with  the  merchnats  at 
a  low  rate.  During  the  summer  these  people  content  them- 
selves with  raising  corn  barely  sufficient  for  bread  during  tho 
year.  In  this  manner  they  always  remain  extremely  poor. 
Some  few  who  have  conquered  that  habit  of  indolence,  which 
is  always  the  consequence  of  the  Indian  mode  of  life;  and 
attend  to  agriculture,  live  more  comfortably,  and  taste  a  lit- 
tle of  the  sweets  of  civilized  life. 

The  lands  along  the  river,  above  the  post,  are  not  very 
inviting,  being  a  thin  poor  soil,  and  covered  with  pine  wood. 
To  the  right,  the  settlements  on  the  bayou  Barthelemi  and 
Siard,  are  said  to  be  rich  land. 

On  the  morning  of  the  thirteenth,  they  passed  an  island 
and  a  strong  rapid,  and  arrived  at  a  little  settlement  below  a 
chain  of  rocks,  which  crosses  the  channel  between  an  island 
and  the  main  land,  called  Roque  Raw.  The  Spaniard  and 


his  family,  settled  here,  appear,  from  their  indolence  to  live 
miserably.  The  river  acquires  here  a  more  spacious  appear- 
ance, being  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  yards  wide.  In  the 
afternoon  they  passed  the  bayou  Barthelemi  on  the  right,  a- 
bove  the  last  settlements,  and  about  twelve  computed  leagues 
from  the  post.  Here  commences  Baron  Bastrops  great  grant 
of  land  from  the  Spanish  government,  being  a  square  of 
twelve  leagues  on  each  side,  a  little  exceeding  a  million  of 
French  acres.  The  banks  of  the  river  continue  about  thirty  feet 
high,  of  which  eighteen  feet  from  the  water  are  a  clayey 
loam  of  a  pale  ash  color,  upon  which  the  water  has  deposi- 
ted twelve  feet  of  light  sandy  soil,  apparently  fertile  and  of 
a  dark  brown  color.  This  description  of  land  is  of  small 
breadth,  not  exceeding  half  a  mile  on  each  side  of  the  river; 
and  may  be  called  the  valley  of  the  Washita,  beyond  which 
there. is  a  high  land  covered  with  pine. 

The  soil  of  the  "Bayou  des  Buttes,"  continues  thin,  with 
a  growth  of  small  timber.  This  creek  is  named  from  a  num- 
ber of  Indian  mounts  discovered  by  the  hunters  along  its 
course.  The  margin  of  the  river  begins  to  be  covered  with 
such  timber  as  usualy  grows  on  inundated  land,  particularly 
a  species  of  white  oak,  vulgarly  called  the  over-cup  oak;  its 
timber  is  remarkably  hard,  solid,  ponderous,  and  durable; 
and  it  produces  a  large  acorn  in  great  abundance,  upon 
which  the  bear  feeds,  and  which  is  very  fattening  to  hogs. 

In  latitude  32.  50.  8.  N.  they  passed  a  long  and  narrow 
island.  The  face  of  the  country  begins  to  change;  the  banks 
are  low  and  steep;  the  river  deep  and  more  contracted,  from 
thirty  to  fifty  yards  in  width.  The  soil  in  the  neighborhood 
of  the  river  is  a  very  sandy  loam,  and  covered  with  such  veg- 
etables as  are  found  on  the  inundated  lands  of  the  Mississip- 
pi. The  tract  presents  the  appearance  of  a  new  soil,  very 
different  from  what  they  passed  below.  This  alluvial  tract 
may  be  supposed  the  site  of  a  great  lake,  drained  by  a  na- 
tural channel,  from  the  abrasion  of  the  waters:  since  which 
period,  the  annual  inundations  have  deposited  the  superior 
soil;  eighteen  or  twenty  feet  are  wanting  to  render  it  habi- 
table for  man.  It  appears,  nevertheless,  well  stocked 
with  the  beasts  of  -the  focest,  several  of  which  were  seen. 


Quantities  of  water  fowl  are  beginning  to  make  their  ap- 
pearance, which  are  not  very  numerous  here  until  the  cold 
rains  and  frosts  compel  them  to  leave  a  more  northern  cli- 
mate. Fish  is  not  so  abundant  as  might  be  expected,  owing, 
it  is  said,  to  the  inundation  of  the  Mississippi,  in  the  year 
1799,  which  dammed  up  the  Washita,  some  distance  above 
the  post;  and  produced  a  stagnation  and  consequent  corrup- 
tion of  the  waters  that  destroyed  all  the  fish  within  its  influence. 

At  noon,  on  the  15th  November,  they  passed  the  island  of 
Mallet;  and  at  ninety  yards  north-east  from  tne  upper  point 
of  the  island,  by  a  good  observation  ascertained  their  latitude 
to  be  32.  59.  27.  5.  N.  or  two  secon-ds  and  an  half  of  lati- 
tude south  of  the  dividing  line  between  tho  territories  of  Or- 
leans and  Louisiana.  The  bed  of  the  river,  along  this  allu- 
vial country,  is  generally  covered  with  water,  and  the  navi- 
gation uninterrupted;  but  in  the  afternoon  of  this  day,  they 
passed  three  contiguous  sand-bars,  or  beaches,  called  «iLes 
trois  battures/'  and  before  evening  the  '-bayou  de  grand  Ma- 
ra is,"  or  Great  Marsh  creek  on  the  right,  and  "La  Cypreri 
Chattelrau,"  a  point  of  high  land  on  the  other  side,  which 
reaches  within  half  a  mile  of  the  river.  As  they  advanced 
towards  the  Mara  is  de  Saline,  on  the  right,  a  stratum  of  dir- 
ty white  clay,  under  the  alluvial  tract,  showed  them  to  be 
leaving  the  sunken,  and  approaching  the  high  land  country. 
The  Salt  Lick  marsh,  does  not  derive  its  name  from  any 
brackishness  in  the  water  of  the  lake  or  marsh,  but  from  its 
contiguity  to  some  of  the  licks,  sometimes  called  "saline," 
and  sometimes  'glaise"  generally  found  in  a  clay,  campact 
enough  for  potters  ware.  The  Bayou  de  la  Tulipe  forms  a 
communication  between  the  the  lake  and  the  river.  Oppo- 
site to  this  place,  there  is  a  point  of  high  land  forming  a 
promontory,  advancing  within  a  mile  of  the  river,  and  to 
which  bouts  resort  when  the  low  grounds  are  under  water. 
A  short  league  above  is  the  mouth  of  the  grand  bayou  de  la 
Saline  (Salt  Lick  creek.)  This  creek  is  of  a  considerable 
length  and  navigable  for  small  boats.  The  hunters  ascend 
it,  to  one  hundred  of  their  leagues,  in  pursuit  of  game,  and 
all  agree  that  none  of  the  springs  which  feed  this  creek  are 
gait.  It  has  obtained  its  namefrom  the  many  buffalo  sal$ 


licks  which  have  been  discovered  in  its  vicinity.  Although 
most  of  these  licks,  by  diging,  furnish  water  which  hold* 
marine  salt  in  solution,  there  exists  no  reason  for  believing^ 
that  many  of  them  would  produce  nitre.  Notwithstanding, 
this  low  and  alluvial  tract  appears  in  all  respects  well  adap- 
ted to  the  growth  of  the  long  moss  (tilandsia)  none  was  ob- 
served since  entering  it  in  latitude  32.  52;  and  as  the  pilot 
imforrned  them,  none  would  be  seen  in  their  progress  up  the 
river,  it  is  probable  that  the  latitude  of  the  thirty-three  de- 
grees  is  about  the  northern  limit  of  vegetation.  The  long- 
leaf  pine,  frequently  the  growth  of  rich  and  even  inundated 
land,  was  here  observed  in  great  abundance:  the  short-leafed 
or  pitch  pine,  on  the  dontrary,  is  always  found  upon  arid 
lands  and  generally  in  sandy  and  lofty  situations. 

This  is  the  season  when  the  poor  settlers  on  the  Washita 
turn  out  to  make  their  annual  hunt.  The  deer  is  now  fat  and 
the  sldns  in  perfection;  the  bear  is  now  also  in  his  best  state, 
with  regard  to  the  quality  of  his  fur.  and  the  quantity  of  fat 
or  oil  he  yields,  as  he  has  been  feasting  luxuriously  on  the  au- 
tumnal fruits  of  the  forest.  It  is  here  well  known,  that  he 
does  not  confine  himself,  as  some  writers  have  supposed,  to 
vegetable  food;  he  is  particularly  fond  of  hogs  flesh:  sheep 
and  calves  are  frequently'  his  prey  ;  and  no  animal  es^ 
capes  him  which  comes  within  his  power,  and  which  he  is 
able  to  conquer.  He  often  destroys  the  fawn,  when  chance 
throws  it  in  his  way.  He  cannot,  however,  discover  it  by 
smelling,  notwithstanding  the  excellence  of  his  scent;  for  na- 
ture has,  as  if  for  its  protection,  denied  the  fawn  the  proper- 
ty of  leaving  any  effluvium  upon  its  track,  a  property  so 
powerful  in  the  old  deer.*  The  bear,  unlike,  most  other 

*  It  may  not  be  generally  known  to  naturalists,  that  be- 
tween the  hoof  of  the  deer,  &c.  there  is  found  a  sack,  with 
its  mouth  inclining  upwards,  containing  more  or  less  musk, 
and  which  by  escaping  over  the  opening,  in  proportion  to  the 
secretion,  causes  the  foot  to  leave  a  scent  on  the  ground 
wherever  it  passes.  During  the  rutting  season,  this  musk  is 
so  abuntant  (particularly  in  old  males)  as  to  be  smelled  by 
the  hunters  at  a  considerable  distance. 


beasts  of  prey,  does  not  kill  the  animal  he  has  seized  upon 
before  he  eats  it;  but,  regardless  of  its  struggles,  cries  and 
lamentations,  fastens  upon,  and  if  the  expression  is  allowa- 
ble, devours  it  alive.  The  hunters  count  much  on  their 
profits  from  the  oil  drawn  from  the  bear's  fat,  which,  at  New 
Orleans,  is  always  of  ready  sale,  and  much  esteemed  for  its 
wholesomeness  in  cooking,  being  preferred  to  butter  or  hogs 
lard.  It  is  found  to  keep  longer  than  any  other  animal  oil, 
without  becoming  rancid;  and  boiling  it  from  time  to  time, 
upon  sweet  bay  leaves,  restores  its  sweetness,  or  facilitates 
its  conservation. 

In  the  afternoon  on  the  17th  they  passed  some  sand  beach- 
esj  and  over  a  few  rapids.  They  had  cane  brakes  on  both 
sides  of  the  river;  the>canes  were  small,  but  demonstrate  that 
the  water  does  not  surmount  the  bank  more  than  a  few  feet. 
The  river  begins  to  widen  as  they  advance;  the  banks  of 
the  river  show  the  high  land  soil,  with  a  stratum  of  three 
or  four  feet  of  alluvian  deposited  by  the  river  upon  it.  This 
superstratum  is  greyish,  and  very  sandy,  with  a  small  ad- 
mixture of  loam,  indicative  of  the  poverty  of  the  moun- 
tains and  uplands  where  the  river  rises.  Near  this  they 
passed  through  a  new  and  very  narrow  channel,  in  which  all 
the  water  of  the  river  passes,  except  in  a  time  of  freshes, 
when  the  interval  forms  an  island.  A  littie  above  this  pass 
is.  a  small  clearing,  called  ''Cache  la  Turlipe"  (Tulips  hiding 
place;)  this  is  the  name  of  a  French  hunter  who  here  con- 
cealed his  property.  It  continues  the  practice  of  both  the 
white  and  red  hunters  to  leave  their  skins,  &c.  often  suspen- 
ded to  poles,  or  laid  over  a  pole  placed  upon  two  forked 
posts,  in  sight  of  the  river  until  their  return  from  hunting. 
These  deposits  are  considered  as  sacred,  and  few  examples 
exist  of  there  being  plundered.  After  passing  .the  entrance 
of  a  bay,  which  within  must  form  a  great  lajte  during  inun- 
dation, great  numbers  of  the  long-leaf  pine  were  observed^ 
and  increased  size  of  the.  canes  along  the  rivers  bank,  deno- 
ted a  better  and  more  elevated  soil;  on  the  left  was  a  high, 
hill  (three  hundred  feet  )  covered  with  lofty  pine  trees. 

The  banks  of  the  river  present  more  the  appearance  of  up* 
hud  fioila  the  under,  statum  being  a  pale  yellowish  clay,  apd 


the  alluv.inl  soil  of  a  dirty  white,  surmounted  by  a  thin  cov- 
ering of  a  brown  vegetable  earth.  The  tress  improve  in  ap- 
pearance, growing  to  a  considerable  size  and  height,  though 
yet  inferior  to  those  on  the  alluvial  banks  of  the  Missitsippi. 
After  passing  the  "Bayou  de  Hachis,'  on  the  left,  points  of 
high  land  not  subject  to  be  overflowed,  freqently  touch  the 
river;  and  the  valley  is  said  to  be  more  than  a  league  in 
breadth  on  both  sides.  On  the  left  are  pine  hills,  called 
r<Code  de  Champignole."  The  river  is  not  more  than  fifty 
or  sixty  yards  wide.  On  the  morning  of  the  20th  they  pas- 
sed a  number  6f  sand  beaches  and  some  rapids,  but  found 
good  depth  of  water  between  them.  A  creek  called  "Che- 
min  Convert,"  which  forms  a  deep  ravine  in  the  highlands, 
here  enters  the  river;  almost  immediately  above  this  is  a  ra- 
pid .where  the  water  in  the  river  is  confined  to  a  channel  of 
about  forty  yards  in  widths  above  it  they  had  to  quit  the  main 
channel,  on  account  of  the  shallowness  and  rapidity  of  the 
water,  and  pass  along  a  narrow  channel  of  only  sixty  feet 
wide:  without  a  guide,  a  stranger  might  take  this  passage  for 
a  creek. 

Notwithstanding  the  lateness  of  the  season,  and  the  north- 
ern latitude  they  were  in,  they  this  day  met  with  an  alliga- 
tor. The  banks  of  the  river  are  covered  with  cane,  or  thick 
under-brush,  frequently  so  interwoven  with  thorns  and  bri- 
ars as  to  be  impenetrable.  Birch,  maple,  holly,  and  two 
kinds  of  wood,  to  which  names  have  not  yet  been  given,  ex- 
cept "water-side  wood,"  are  here  to  be  met  with;  as  also 
persimmons  and  small  black  grapes.  The  margin  of  the  riv- 
er is  fringed  with  a  variety  of  plants  and  vines,  among  which 
are  several  species  of  convolvulus. 

On 'the  left  they  passed  a  hill  and  cliff,  one  hundrd  feet 
perpendicular,  crowned  with  pines,  and  called  "'Cote  de  Fin," 
(Fin's  hill)  from  which  a  chain  of  high  land  continues  some 
distance.  The  cliff  presents  the  appearance  of  an  ash  col- 
ored clay.  A  little  farther  to  the  right  is  the  Bayou  de  Aea- 
cia  (Locust  creek.)  The  river  varies  here  from  eighty  to  an 
hundred  yards  in  width,  presenting  frequent  indications  of 
iron  along  its  banks  and  some  thin  strata  of  iron^  ore.  The 
ore  is  from  half  an  inch  to  three  inches  in  thickness. 


On  the  morning  of  the  22(1  of  November,  they  arrived  at 
the  road  of  the  Chadadoquis  Indian  nation  leading  to  the 
Arkansas  nation;  a  little  beyond  this  is  the  Ecor  a  Fabri 
(l^abri's  cliffs)  from  eighty  to  an  hundred  feet  high;  a  little 
distance  above,  a  smaller  cliff  called  "Le  Petit  Lcor  a  Fa- 
bri" (the  little  Cliff  of  Fabri:)  these  cliffs  appear  chiefly  to 
be  composed  of  ash  colored  sand,  with  a  stratum  of  clay  at 
the  base,  such  as  runs  all  along  under  the  banks  of  this  river, 
Above  these  cliffs  are  several  rapids;  the  current  is  swifter 
and  denotes  their  ascent  into  a  higher  Country:  the  water  be- 
comes clear  and  equal  to  any  in  its  very  agreeable  taste,  and 
as  drinking  water.  In  the  river  are  immense  beds  of  grav-^ 
el  and  sand,  over  which  the  river  passes  with  great  velocity 
in  the  season  of  its  floods,  carrying  with  it  vast  quantities 
of  drift  wood,  which  it  piles  up  in  many  places,  to  the  height 
of  twenty  feet  above  the  present  surface,  pointing  out  the  dif- 
ficulty and  dasger  in  certain  times  of  the  flood;  accidents, 
however  are  rare  with  the  canoes  of  the  country. 

As  the  party  ascended  they  found  the  banks  of  the  river 
less  elevated,  being  only  from  nine  to  twelve  feet,  and  are 
probably  surmounted  some  feet  by  the  freshes.  The  river 
becomes  more  obstructed  by  rapids  and  sand  and  gravel 
beaches;  among  which  are  found  fragments  of  stone  of  all 
forms,  and  a  variety  of  colors,  some  highly  polished  and 
rounded  by  friction.  The  banks  of  the  river  in  this  upper 
country  suffer  greatly  by  abrasion,  one  side  and  sometimes 
both  being  broken  down  by  every  flood. 

At  a  place  called  "Auges  d'  Arelon."  (Arlan's  troughs)  is 
laminated  iron  ore,  and  a  stratum  of  black  sand,  very  tena- 
cious, shining  with  minute  chrystals.  The  breadth  of  the 
river  is  here  about  eighty  yards:  in  some  places  however,  it 
is  enlarged  by  islands,  in  others  contracted  to  eighty  or  one 
hundred  feet.  Rocks  of  a  greyish  color,  and  rather  friable, 
are  here  found  in  many  places  on  the  river*  On  the  banks 
grow  willows  of  a  different  form  from  those  found  below, 
and  on  the  margin  of  the  Mississippi;  the  last  are  very  brit- 
tle; these  on  the  contrary  are  extremely  pliant,  resembling 
the  osier,  of  which  they  are  probably  a  species. 

At  noon  on  the  24th,  they  armed  at  the  confluence  of  th« 


Lesser  Missouri  with  the  Washita;  the  former  is  a  consider 
able  branch,  perhaps  the  fourth  of  the  Washita,  and  comes 
in  from  the  left  hand.  The  hunters  often  ascend  the  Little 
Missouri^  but  are  not.inclined  to  penetrate  far  up,  because  it 
reaches  near  the  great  plains  or  prairies  upon  the  Red  riv- 
er, visited  by  the  Lesser  Osage  tribes  of  Indians,  settled  on 
Arkansas;  these  last  frequently  carry  war  into  the  Cadado- 
quis  tribe  settled  on  the  Red  river,  about  west  south-west 
from  this  place;  and  indeed  they  are  reported  not  to  spare 
any  nation  or  people.  They  are  prevented  from  visiting 
the  head  waters  of  the  Washita  by  the  steep  hills  in  which 
they  rise.  These  mountains  are  so  difficult  to  travel  over, 
that  the  savages  not  having  an  object  sufficiently  desirable-, 
never  attempt  to  penetrate  to  this  river;  and  it  is  supposed 
to  be  unknown  to  this'netion.  The  Cadadoquis  (or  Oadoux 
as  the  French  pronounce  the  word)  may  be  considered  as 
Spanish  Indians;  they  boast;  and  it  is  said  with  truth  that 
they  never  have  imbrued  their  hands  in  the  blood  of  a  white 
man.  It  is  said  that  the  stream  of  the  Little  Missouri,  some 
distance  from  its  mouth,  flows  over  a  bright  splendid  bed  of 
mineral  of  a  yellowish  white  color,  (most  probably  martial 
pyrites;)  that  thirty  years  ago,  several  of  the  inhabitants, 
hunters,  worked  upon  this  mind,  and  sent  a  quantity  of  the 
ore  to  the  government  at  New-Orleans,  and  they  were  pro- 
hibited from  working  any  more. 

There  is  a  great  sameness  in  the  appearance  of  the  river 
banks;  the  islands  are  skirted  with  osier;  and  immediately 
within,  on  the  bank,  grows  a  range  of  birch  trees  and  some 
willows;  the  more  elevated  banks  are  covered  with  cane,  a- 
inong  which  grows  the  oak,  maple,  elm,  sycamore,  ash,  hick- 
ory, dog-wood,  holly,  iron-wood,  &c.  From  tke  pilot  they 
learned  that  there  is  a  body  of  excellent  land  on  the  little 
Missouri,  particularly  on  the  creek  called  the  "Bayou  a  ter- 
re  noire,"  which  falls  into  it.  This  land  extends  to  Red  riv- 
er, and  is  connected  with  the  great  prairies  which  form  the 
hunting  grounds  of  the  Cadaux  nation,  consisting  of  about 
two  hundred  warriors.  They  are  warlike,  but  frequently 
unable  to  defend  themselves  against  the  tribe  of  Osages,  set- 
tled on  the  Arkansas  river,  who,  passing  round  the  moun- 


tains  at  the  head  of  the  Washita,  and  along  the  prairies, 
which  separate  them  from  the  main  chain  on  the  west,  where 
the  waters  of  the  Red  and  Arkansas  rivers  have  their 
rise,  pass  into  the  Cadoux  county  and  rob  and  plunder 

The  water  in  the  river  Washita  rising,  the  party  are  ena- 
bled to  pass  the  numerous  rapids  and  shoals  which  they  meet 
with  in  the  upper  country,  some  of  which  are  difficult  of  as- 
cent. The  general  height  of  the  main  banks  of  the  river  is 
from  six  to  twelve. feet  above  the  level  of  the  water;  the  land 
is  better  in  quality,  the  canes,  &c.  showing  a  more  luxuriant 
vegetation.  It  ie  subject  to  inundation,  and  shows  a  brown 
soil  mixed  with  sand.  Near  Cache  Mason  (Masons  hiding 
place)  on  the  right,  they  stopped  to  examine  a  supposed  coal 
mine.  Doctor  Hunter,  and  the  pilot,  set  out  for  this  pur- 
pose, and  at  about  a  mile  and  a  half  north  west  from  the  boat, 
in  the  bad  of  a  creek,  they  found  a  substance  similar  to  what 
they  had  before  met  with  under  that  name,  though  more  ad- 
vanced towards  a  state  of  perfect  coal.  At  the  bottom  of 
the  creek  in  a  place  then  dry,  was  found  detached  pieces  of 
from  fifty  to  one  hundred  pounds  weight;  adjoining  to  which 
lay  wood  changed  into  the  same  substance.  A  stratum  of 
this  coal,  six  inches  thick,  lay  on  both  sides  of  this  little 
creek,  over  another  of  yellow  clay,  and  covered  by  one  foot 
of  gravel;  on  the  gravel  are  eight  inches  of  loam,  which 
bear  a  few  inches  of  vegetable  mold.  This  stratum  of  coal 
is  about  three  feet  higher  than  the  water  in  the  creek,  and 
appears  manifestly  to  have  been  at  some  period,  tho  surface 
of  the  ground.  The  gravel  and  loam  have  been  deposited 
there  since,  by  the  waters.  Some  pieces  of  this  coal  were 
very  black  and  solid,  of  an  homogeneous  appearance,  much 
resembling  pit  coal,  but  of  less  specific  gravity.  It  does 
not  appear  to  be  sufficiently  impregnated  with  bitumen,  but 
may  be  considered  as  vegetable  matter  in  the  progress  of 
transmutation  to  coal. 

Below  the  "Bayou  de  Peau  froide,"  which  runs  into  the 
Washita  from  the  right,  .the  river  is  one  hundred  and  seven- 
ty yards,  flowing  through  tolerable  good  land.  They  passed 
a  beautiful  forest  of  pines,  and  on  the  20th  fell  in  with  an 


old  Dutch  hunter  and  his  party,  consisting1  in  all  of  five  per- 

Tliis  man  had  resided  forty  years  on  the  Washita,  and  be- 
fore that  period,  had  been  up  the  Arkansas  river,  the  White 
river,  and  the  St.  Francis;  the  two  last,  he  informs,  are  of 
difficult  navigation,  similar  to  the  Washita:  but  the  Arkan- 
sas river  is  of  great  magnitude,  having  a  large  and  broad 
channel,  and  when  the  water  is  low,  has  great  sand  banks,. 
lik$ those  in  the  Mississippi.  So  far  as  he  has  been  up  it, 
the  navigation  is  safe  and  commodious,  without  impediments 
from  rocks,  shoals,  or  rapids;  its  bed  being  formed  of  mud 
and  sand.  The  soil  on  it  is  of  the  first  rate  quality.  The 
country  is  easy  of  access,  being  lofty  open  forests,  unembar- 
rassed by  canes  or  undergrowth.  The  water  is  disagreea- 
ble to  drink,  being  of  a  red  color  and  brackish  when  the  riv- 
er is  low.  A  multitude  of  creeks  which  flow  into  the  Ar- 
kansas furnish  sweet  water,  which  the  voyager  is  obliged  tx> 
carry  with  him  for  the  supply  of  his  immediate-  wants. — 
This  man  confirms  the  accounts  of  silver  being  abundant  up 
that  river:  he  has  not  been  so  high  as  to  see  it  himself,,  but 
says,  he  received  a  silver  pin  from  a  hunter,  who  assured 
him  that  he  himself  collected  the  virgin  silver  from  the 
rock,  out  of  which  he  made  the  epinglete  by  hammering 
it  out.  The  tribe  of  the  Usage  live  higher  up  than  this  po- 
sition; but  the  hunters  rarely  go  so  high,  being  afraid  of  these 
savages,  who  are  at  war  with  all  the  world,  and  destroy  all 
strangers  they  meet  with.  It  is  reported  that  the  Arkansas 
nation,  with  a  part  of  the  Choctaws,  Chicasaws,  Shawnese, 
&c,  have  formed  a  league,  and  are  actually  gone,  or  going, 
800  strong,  against  these  depredators,  with  a  view  to  des- 
troy or  drive  them  entirely  off,  and  possess  themselves  of 
their  fine  prairies,  which  are  most  abundant  hunting  grounds, 
being  plentifully  stocked  with  buffalo,  elk,  deer,  bear,  and 
every  other  beast  of  the  chase; common  to  those  latitudes  in 
America.  This  hunter  having  given  information  of  a  small 
spring  in  their  vicinity,  from  which  he  frequently  supplied 
himself  by  evaporating  the  water;  doctor- Hunter, .with  a  par- 
ty, accompanied  him,  on  the  morning  of  the  29th  November, 
to  the  place.  They  found  a  saline,  about  a  mile  and  a  .half 


north  of  the  camp  from  whence  they  set  out,  and  near  a  creek 
which  enters  the  Washita  a  little  above.  It  is  situated  in 
the  bottom  of  the  bed  of  a  dry  gully.  The  surrounding  land 
is  rich  and  well  timbered,  but  subject  to  inundation,  except 
an  Indian  mount  on  the  creek  side,  having  a  base  of  eighty 
or  an  hundred  feet  diameter,  and  twenty  feet  high.  After 
digging  about  three  feet,  through  blue  clay,  they  came  to  a 
quicksand,  from  which  the  water  flowed  in  abundance:  its 
taste  was  salt  and  bitter,  resembling  that  of  water  in  the 
oceaa.  In  a  second  hole  it  required  them  to  dig  six  feet  be- 
fore they  reached  the  quick-sand,  in  doing  which  they  threw 
up  several  broken  pieces  of  Indian  pottery.  The  specific 
gravity,  compared  with  the  river,  was,  from  the  first  pit, 
or  that  three  feet  deep,  1,02720;  from  the  second  pit,  or  that 
six  feet  deep,  1,02104,  yielding  a  saline  mass,  from  the  eva- 
poration of  ten  quairts,  which  when  dry,  weighed  eight  oun- 
ces: this  brine  is,  therefore,  about  the  same  strength  as  that 
of  the  ocean  on  our  coast,  and  twice  the  strength  of  the  fa- 
mous licks  in  Kentucky  called  Bullet's  lick,  and  Man's  lick, 
from  which  so  much  salt  is  made. 

The  "Fourche  de  Cadoux'5  (Cadadoquis  fork)  which  they 
passed  on  the  morning  of  the  30th,  is  about  one  hundred 
yards  wide  at  its  entrance  into  the  Washita,  from   the  left; 
immediately  beyond  which  on  the  same  side,  the  land  is 
high,  probably  elevated  three  hundred  feet  above  the  water. 
The  shoals  and  rapids  here  impede  their  progress.    At  noon 
they  deduced  their  latitute,  by  observation,  to  be  30.  11.  37. 
N.  Receiving  information   of  another  salt  lick,  or  saline, 
doctor  Hunter  landed,  with  a  party,  to  view  it.  The  pit  was 
found  in  a  low  flat  place,  subject  to  be  overflowed  from  the 
river;  it  was  wet  and  muddy,  the  earth  on  the  surface  yellow, 
but  on  digging  through  about  four  feet  of  blue  clay,  the  salt 
water  oozed  from  a  quicksand.     Ten  quarts  of  this   water 
produced,  by  evaporation,  six  ounces  of  saline  mass,  which, 
from  taste,  was  principally  marine  salt;  to  the  taste,  howev- 
er it  showed  an  admixture  of  soda,  and  muriated  magnessia, 
but  the  marine  salt  greatly  preponderated.     The   specific 
gravity  was  about  1.076  probably  weakened  from  the  rain 
which  had  fallen  the  day  before.     The  ascent  of  the  river 


becomes  troublesome,  from  the  rapids  and  currents,  particu- 
hrly  at  tho  "Isle  du  bayou  des  Roches"  (Rocky  creek  island) 
where  it  required  great  exertions,  and  was  attended  with 
some  hazard  to  pass  them.  This  island  is  three  fourths  of  a 
mile  in  length.  The  river  presents  a  series  of  shoals,  ra- 
pids, and  small  cataracts;  and  they  passed  several  points  of 
highland,  full  of  rocks  and  stones,  much  harder  and  more 
solid  than  any  they  had  yet  met  with. 

The  rocks  were  all  silicious,  with  their  fissures  penetrated 
by  sparry  matter.  Indications  of  iron  were  frequent,  and 
fragments  of  poor  oar  were  common,  but  rich  ore  of  that  or 
any  other  rnetal  was  found.  Some  of  the  hills  appear  well 
adapted  to  the  cultivation  of  the  vine;  the  soil  being  a  san- 
dy loam,  with  a  considerable  portion  of  .gravel,  and  a  super- 
ficial covering  of  good  vegetable  black  earth.  The  natural 
productions  are.  several  varieties  of  oak,  pine,  dog- wood, 
holly,  &c.  with,  a  scattering  undergrowth  of  whortleberry, 
hawthorn,  china  brier,  and  a  variety  of  small  vines. 

Above  the  isle  de  Mallon,  the  country  wears  another  pros- 
pect. High  lands  and  rocks  frequently  approach  the  river. 
The  rocks  in  grain,  resemble  freestone,  and  are  hard  enough 
to  be  used  as  hand  mill -stone,  to  which  purpose  they  are  fre- 
quently applied  .  The  quality  of  the  lands  improve,  the  stra* 
turn  of  vegetable  earth  being  from  six  to  twelve  inches,  of  a 
dark  brown  color,  with  an  admixture  of  loam  and  sand.— • 
Below  Deer  Island  they  passed  a  stratum  of  free  stone,  fifty 
feet  thick,  under  which  is  a  quarry  of 'imperfect  slate  in  per- 
pendicular layers.  About  a  league  from  the  river,  and  a  lit- 
tle above  the  slate  quarry,  is  a  considerable  plain,  called 
"Prairie  de  Champignole,"  often  frequented  by  buffaloes.,— 
Some  salt  licks  are  found  near  it;  and  in  many  situations  on 
both  sides  of  this  river,  there  are  said  to  be  salines  which 
may  hereafter  be  rendered  v'ery  productive,  and  from  which 
the  future  settlements  may  be  abundantly  supplied. 

About  four  miles  below  the  "Chuttes,"  (falls)  they,  from 
a  good  observation,  found  the  latitude  34,  21,  ^5,  5.  The 
land  on  either  hand  continues  to  improve  in  quality,  with  a 
sufficient  stratum  of  dark  earth  of  a  brownish  color.  Hills 
frequently  rise  out  of  the  level  country,  full  of  rocks  and 


stones,  hard  and  flinty,  and  often  resembling  Turkey  oil  stones. 
Of  this  kind  was  a  promontory  which  came  in  from  the  right 
hand  a  little  below  the  Chuttes;  at  a  distance  it  presented 
the  appearance  of  ruined  buildings  and  fortifications,  and 
several  insulated  masses  of  rock,  conveyed  the  idea  of  re- 
doubts and  out-works.  This  effect  was  heightened  by  the 
rising  of  a  flock  of  swans  which  had  taken  their  station  in 
.the  water,  at  the  foot  of  these  walls.  As  the  voyagers  ap- 
proached, the  birds  floated  about  majestically  on  the  glassy 
surface  of  the  water,  and  in  tremulous  accents  seemed  to 
consult  upon  means  of  safety.  The  whole  was  a  sublime 
picture.  In  the  afternoon  of  the  '3d  of  December,  they 
reached  the  Chuttes,  and  found  the  falls  to  be  occasioned  by 
n  chain  of  rocks  of  the  same  hard  substance  seen  below,  ex- 
tending in  the  direction  of  north-east  and  south-west,  quite 
across  the  river.  The  water  passes  through  a  number  of 
branches  worn  by  the  impetuosity  of  the  torrent  where  it 
forms  so  many  cascades.  The  chain  of  rock  or  hill  on  the 
left,  appears  to  have  been  cut  down  to  its  present  level  by 
the  abrasion  of  the  waters.  By  great  exertion  and  lighten- 
ing the  boat,  they  passed  the  Chuttes  that  evening,  and  en- 
camped just  above  the  cataracts,  and  within  the  hearing  of 
their  incessant  roar. 

Immediately  above  the  Chuttes,  the  current  of  the  water 
is  slow  to  another  ledge  of  hard  free  stone;  the  reach  be- 
tween is  spacious  and  not  less  than  two  yards  wide,  and  ter- 
minated by  a  hill  three  hundred  feet  high,  covered  with  beau- 
tiful pines:  this  is  a  fine  situation  for  building.  In  latitude 
34,  25,  48,  they  possed  a  very  dangerous  rapid,  from  the 
number  of  rocks  which  obstruct  the  passage  of  the  water, 
and  break  it  into  foam.  On  the  right  of  the  rapid  is  a  high 
rocky  hill  covered  with  very  handsome  pincy  woods.  The 
strata  of  the  rock  has  an  inclination  of  30  to  the  horizon  in 
the  direction  of  the  river  •  desc-ending.  This  hill  may  be 
three  hundred  or  three  hundred  and  fifty  feet  high;  a  border 
or  list  of  green  cane  skirts  the  margin  of  the  river,  beyond 
which  generally  rises  a  high,  and  sometimes  a  barren  hill. — 
Near  another  rapid  they  passed  a  hill  on  the  left,  containing 
a  large  body  of  bluej&ate*  -A  sjnalLdkta=nce -shave. -the  bay- 


ou  de  Saline  they  had  to  pass  a  rapid  of  one  hundred  and 
fifty  yards  in  length,  and  four  and  a  half  feet  fall,  which  from 
its  velocity,  the  French  have  denominated  "La  Cascade." — 
Below  the  cascade  there  are  rocky  hills  on  both  sides  com- 
posed of  very  hard  free-stone.  The  stone  in  the  bed  of  the 
river,  and  which  has  been  rolled  from  the  upper  country,  was 
of  the  hardest  flint;  or  of  a  quality  resembling  the  Turkey 
oil  stone.  "Fourche  a.u  Tigre,"  (Tiger's  creek,)  which 
comes  in  from  the  right,  a  little  above  the  cascade,  is  said 
to  have  many  extensive  tracts  of  rich  level  land  upon  it. — 
The  rocky  hills  here  frequently  approach  the  Washita  on 
both  sides;  rich  bottoms  are  nevertheless,  frequent,  and  the 
upland  is  sometimes  of  modern  elevation  and  tolerably  leveL 
The  .stones  and  rocks  here  met  with,  have  their  fissures  fill- 
ed by  sparry  and  crystal ine  matter. 

Wild  turkey  become  more  abundant  and  less  difficult  of 
approach  than  below;  and  the  howl  of  the  wolves  is  heard 
during  the  night. 

To  the  "Fourche  au  Calfat,-'5  (Caulker's  creek)  where  the 
voyage  terminates,  they  found  level  and  good  land  on  the 
right  and  high  hills  on  the  left  hand.  After  passing  over  a 
very  precipitous  rapid,  seemingly  divided  into  four  steps  or 
falls,  one  of  which  was  at  least  fifteen  inches  in  perpendic- 
ular height,  and  which  together  could  not  be  less  than  five 
and  a  half  feet,  they  arrived  at  Elles'  camp,  a  small  distance 
below  the  Fourche  au  Calfat,  where  they  stopped  on  the  6th 
of  December,  as  the  pilot  considered  it  the  most  convenient 
landing  from  whence  to  carry  their  necessary  baggage  to  the 
hot  springs,  the  distance  being  about  three  leagues.  There 
is  a  creek  about  two  leagues  higher  up,  called  "Bayou  des 
sources  chauds,"  (hot  spring  creek)  upon  the  banks  of  which 
the  hot  springs  are  situated  at  about  two  leagues  from  its 
mouth.  The  banks  of  it  are  hilly,  and  the  road  less  eligi- 
ble than  from  Elles'  camp. 

On  ascending  the  hill,  to  encamp,  they  found  the  land  ve- 
ry level  and  good,  some  plants  in  flower,,  and  a  great  many 
evergreen  vines;  the  forest  oak  with  an  admixture  of  other 
woods.  The  latitude  of  this  place  is  34.27, 3 1,5.  The  ground 
on  which  .they  fcncarxjped  -$*as  about  fifty  feet  e&ove  the  wa- 

200  JOURNAL1  OF 

ter  in  the  river,  and  supposed  to  be  thirty  feet  higher  than 
the  inundations.  Hills  of  considerable  height,  and  clothed 
with  pine,  were  in  vietv;  but  the  land  around,  and  extending 
beyond  their  view,  lies  handsomely  for  cultivation.  The 
superstratum  is  of  a  blackish  brown  color,  upon  a  yellow  ba- 
sis, the  whole  intermixed  with  gravel  and  blue  schistus,  fre- 
quently so  far  decomposed  as  to  have  a  strong  aluminous 
taste.  From  their  camp,  on  the  V^ashita,  to  the  hot  springs, 
a  distance  of  about  nine  miles,  the  first  six  miles  of  the  road 
is  in  a  westerly  direction  without  many  curiosities,  and  the 
remainder  northwardly,  which  courses  are  necessary  to  avoid 
some  very  steep  hills.  In  this  distance,  they  found  three 
principal  salt  licks,  and  some  inferior  ones,  which  are  all  fre- 
quented by  buffalo,  deer,  &c.  The  soil  around  them  is  a 
white,  tenacious  clay,  probably  fit  for  potters*  ware:  hence 
the  name  of  'glaise,'  which  the  French  hunters  have  bestow- 
ed upon  most  of  the  licks,  frequented  by  the  beasts  of  the 
forest,  many  of  which  exhibit  no  saline  impregnation.  The 
first  two  miles  from  the  river  camp,  is  over  level  land  of  the 
second  rate  quality;  the  timber  chiefly  oak,  intermixed  with 
other  trees  common  to  the  climate,  and  a  few  scattering  pines. 
Further  on,  the  lands,  on  either  hand  rise  into  gently  swell- 
ing hills,  covered  with  handsome  pine  woods.  The  road 
passes  along  a  valley  frequently  wet  by  the  numerous  rills 
and  springs  of  excellent  water  which  issues  from  the  foot  of 
the  hills.  Near  the  hot  springs  the  hills  become  more  ele- 
vated, steeper  of  ascent  and  rocky.  They  are  here  called 
mountains,  although  none  of  them  in  view  exceed  four  or 
five  hundred  feet  in  altitude.  It  is  said  that  mountains  of 
more  than  five  times  the  elevation  of  these  hills  are  to  be 
seen  in  the  northwest,  towards  the  source  of  the  Washita, 
one  of  them  is  called  the  glass,  crystal,  or  shining  mountain, 
from  the  vast  number  of  hexagonal  prisms  of  very  transpa- 
rent and  colorless  crystal  which  are  found  on  its  surface;  they 
are  generally  surmounted  by  pyramids  at  one  end.  rarely  on 
both.  These  crystals  do  not  produce  a  double  refraction  of 
the  rays  of  light.  Many  searches  have  been  made  over 
these  mountains  for  the  precious  metals,-  but  it  is  believed 
without  success* 


At  the  hot  springs  they  found  an  open  log  cabin,  and  a 
few  huts  of  split  boards,  all  calculated  for  summer  encamp- 
ment, and  which  had  been  erected  by  persons  resorting;  to 
the  springs  for  the  recovery  of  their  health. 

They  slightly  repaired  these  huts,  or  cabins,  for  tneir  ac- 
commodation during  the  time  of  their  detention  at  the  springs, 
for  the  purpose  of  examining  them  and  the  surrounding  coun- 
try; and  making  such  astronomical  observations  as  were  ne- 
cessary for  ascertaining  their  geographical  position. 

It  is  understood  that  the  hot  springs  are  included  within 
a  grant  of  some  hundred  acres;  granted  by  the  late  Spanish 
commandant  of  the  Washita,  to  some  of  his  friends,  but  it 
is  not  believed  that  a  regular  patent  was  ever  issued  for  the 
place:  and  it  cannot  be  asserted  that  residence,  with  im- 
provement here,  form  a  plea  to  claim  the  land  upon. 

On  their  arrival  they  immediately  tasted  the  waters  of 
the  hot  springs,  that  is,  after  a  few  minutes'  cooling,  for  it 
was  impossible  to  approach  it  with  the  lips  when  first  taken 
up,  without  scalding:  the  taste  does  not  differ  from  that  of 
good  water  rendered  hot  by  culinary  fire. 

On  the  10th  they  visited  all  the  hot  springs.  They  issue 
on  the  east  side  of  the  valley,  where  the  huts  are,  except 
one  spring,  which  rises  on  the  west  bank  of  the  creek,  from 
the  sides  and  foot  of  a  hill.  From  the  small  quantity  of  cal- 
careous matter  yet  deposited,  the  western  spring  does  not 
appear  to  be  of  long  standing;  a  natural  conduit  probably 
passes  under  the  bed  of  the  creek,  and  supplies  it.  There 
are  four  principal  springs  rising  immediately  on  the  east 
bank  of  the  creek,  one  of  which  may  be  rather  said  to  spring- 
out  of  the  gravel  bed  of  the  run;  a  fifth,  a  smaller  one  than 
that  above  mentioned,  as  rising  on  the  west  side  of  the  creek;, 
and  a  sixth,  of  the  same  magnitude,  the  most  northerly,  and 
rising  near  the  bank  of  the  creek;  these  are  all  the  sources 
that  merit  the  name  of  springs,  near  the  huts;  but  there  is 
a  considerable  one  below,  and  all  along,  at  intervals,  the 
warm  water  oozes  out,  or  drops  from  the  bank  into  the  creek, 
as  appears  from  the  condensed  vapor  floating  along  the  mar- 
gin of  the  creek  where  the  drippings  occur. 


The  hill  from  which  the  hot  springs  issue  is  of  a  conicai 
form,  terminating  at  the  top  with  a  few  loose  fragments  of 
rock,  covering  a  flat  space  twenty- five  feet  in  diameter.  Al- 
though the  figure  of  the  hill  is  conical  it  is  not  entirely  in- 
sulated, but  connected  with  the  neighboring  hills  by  a  very 
narrow  ridge.  The  primative  rock  of  this  hill,  above  the 
base,  is  principally  silicious,  some  part  of  it  being  the  hard- 
est flint,  others  a  free-stone  extremely  compact  and  solid,  and 
of  various  colors.  The  base  of  the  hill,  and  for  a  consider- 
able extent  is  composed  of  a  blackish  blue  schistus,  which 
divides  into  perpendicular  lamina  like  blue  slate.  The  wa- 
ter of  the  hot  springs  is,  therefore,  delivered  from  the  sili- 
cious rock,  generally  invisible  at  the  surface,  from  the  mass 
of  calcareous  matter  with  which  it  is  incrusted,  or  rather  bu- 
ried, and  which  is  perpetually  precipitating  from  the  water 
of  the  springs;  a  small  proportion  of  iron,  in  the  form  of  red 
calx,  is  also  deposited:  the  color  of  which  is  frequently  dis- 
tinguishable in  the  lime. 

In  ascending  the  hill,  several  patches  of  rich  black  earth 
are  found,  which  appeared  to  be  formed  by  the  decomposition 
of  the  calcareous  matter;  in  other  situations  the  superficial 
earth  is  penetrated,  or  encrusted,  by  limestone,  with  fine  la- 
mines,  or  minute  fragments  of  iron  ore. 

The  water  of  the  hot  springs  must  formerly  have  issued 
at  a  greater  elevation  in  the  hill,  and  run  over  the  surface, 
having  formed  a  mass  of  calcareous  rock  one  hundred  feet 
perpendicular  by  its  deposition.  In  this  high  situation  they 
found  a  spring  whose  temperature  was  140  of  Fahrenheit's 
thermometer*  After  passing  the  calcareous  region  they 
found  the  primatrve  hill  covered  by  a  forest  of  not  very  large 
trees,  consisting  chiefly  of  oak,  pine,  cedar,  holly,  hawthorn, 
and  others  common  to  the  climate,  with  a  great,  variety  of 
vines,  some  said  to  produce  black  and  yellow  grapes,  both 
excellent  in  their  kinds.  The  soil  is  rocky,  interspersed 
with  gravel,  sand,  and  fine  vegetable  mould.  On  reaching 
the  height  of  two  hundred  feet  perpendicular,  a  considerable 
change  in  the  soil  was  observable;  it  was  stony  and  gravel- 
ly, with  a  superficial  coat  of  black  earth,  but  immediately 
under  it  lies  a  stratum  of  .fat,  tenacious,  soapy,  red  clay,  in- 


dining  to  the  color  of  bright  Spanish  snuff,  homeogenous  with 
scarcely  any  admixture  of  sand,  no  saline,  but  rather  a  soft 
agreeable  taste:  the  timber  diminishes,  and  the  rocks  in- 
crease in  size  to  the  summit.  The  whole  height  is  estima- 
ted at  three  hundred  feet  above  tiie  level  of  the  valley. 

On  examining  the  four  principal  springs,  or  these  which 
yield  the  greatest  quantity  of  water,  or  of  the  highest  tem- 
perature, No.  1  was  found  to  raise  the  mercury  to  150.  No. 
2  to  154.  No.  3  to  136,  and  No.  4,  to  132  degrees  of  Fah- 
renheit's thermometer;  the  last  is  on  the  west  side  of  the 
creek.  No.  3  is  a  small  basin,  in  which  there  is  a  consider- 
able quantity  of  green  matter,  having  much  appearance  of  a 
vegetable  body,  but  detached  from  the  bottom,  yet  connected 
with  it  by  something  like  a  stem,  which  rests  in  calcareous 
matter.  The  body  of  one  of  these  pseudo-plants  was  from 
four  to  five  inches  in  diameter;  the  bottom  a  smooth  film  of 
some  tenacity  and  the  upper  surface  divided  mto  ascending 
fibres  of  half  or  three  fourths  of  an  inch  long,  resembling 
the  gills  of  a  fish,  in  transverse  rows.  A  little  further  on 
was  another  small  muddy  basin,  in  which  the  water  was 
warm  to  the. finger:  in  it  was  a  vermes  about  half  an  inch 
long,  moving  with  a  serpentine  or  vermicular  motion.  It 
was  invariably  observed,  that  the  green  matter  forming  on 
the  stones  and  leaves  covered  a  stratum  of  calcareous  earth, 
sometimes  a  liltle  hard,  or  brittle,  at  others  soft  and  imper- 
fect. From  the  bottom  of  one  of  the  hot  springs  a  frequent 
ebullition  of  gas  was  observed,  which  not  having  the  means 
of  collecting,  they  could  not  ascertain  its  nature:  it  was  not 
inflammable,  and  there  is  little  doubt  of  its  being  carbonic 
acid,  from  the  quantity  of  lime,  and  the  iron,  held  in  solu- 
tion by  the  water. 

They  made  the  following  rough  estimate  of  the  quantity 
of  water  delivered  by  the. springs.  There  are  four  principal 
springs,  two  of  inferior  note;  one  rising  out  of  the  gravel, 
and  a  number  of  drippings  and  drainings,  all  issuing  from 
the  margin,  or  from  under  the  rock  which  overhangs  the 
creek.  Of  the  four  first  mentioned,  three  deliver  nearly 
equal  quantities,  but  No.  1,  the  most  considerable,  delivers 
about  live  times  CF  much -as  one  of  the  other  three;  the  two 


of  inferior  note  may,  together,  be  equal  to  one;  and  all  the 
droppings,  and  small  springs,  are  probably  underrated  at 
double  the  quantity  of  one  of  the  three;  that  is,  altogether, 
they  will  deliver  a  quantity  equal  to  eleven  times  the  water 
issuing  from  the  one  most  comrnodiously  situated  for  meas- 
urement. This  spring  filled  a  vessel  of  eleven  quarts  in  ele- 
ven seconds,  hence  the  whole  quantity  of  hot  water  deliver- 
ed from  the  springs  at  the  base  of  the  hill  is  165  gallons  in  a 
minute,  or  3771  hogsheads  in  24  hours,  which  is  equal  to  a 
handsome  brook,  and  might  wort  an  overshot  mill.  In  cool 
weather  condensed  vapor  is  seen  rising  out  of  the  gravel  bed 
of  the  creek,  from  springs  which  cannot  be  taken  into  ac- 
count. During  the  summer  and  fall,  the  creek  receives  lit- 
tle or  no  water  but  what  is  supplied  by  the  hot  springs;  at 
that  season  itself  is  a  hot -bath,  too  hot,  indeed,  near  the 
springs;  -so  that  a-  person  may  choose  the  temperature  most 
agreeable  to  himself,  by  selecting  a  natural  basin  near  to,  or 
farther  from  the  principal  springs.  At  three  or  four  miles 
below  the  springs  the  water  is  tepid  and  unpleasant  to 

From  the  western  mountain,  estimated  to  be  of  equal 
height  with  that  from  which  the  hot  springs  flow,  there  are 
several  fine  prospects.  The  valley  of  the  Washita,  compre- 
hended between  the  hills  on  either  side,  seemed  a  perfect  flat, 
and  about  twelve  miles  wide.  On  all  hands  were  seen  the 
hills  or  mountains,  as  they  are  here  called,  rising  behind  each 
other.  In  the  direction  of  north,  the  most  distant  were  es- 
timated to  be  fifty  milas  off,  and. are  supposed  to  be  those  of 
the  Arkansas  river,  or  the  rugged  mountains  which  divide 
the  waters  of  the  A  rkansas  from  those  of  the  Washita,  and 
prevent  the  Osage  Indians  from  visiting  the  latter,  of  whom 
they  are  supposed  ignorant;  otherwise  their  excursions  here 
would  prevent  this  place  from  being  visited  by  white  per- 
sons, or  other  Indians.  In  a  south-west  direction,  at  about 
forty  miles  distance,  is  seen  a  perfectly  level  ridge,  supposed 
to  be  the  high  prairies  of  the  Red  river. 

Notwithstanding  the  severity  of  the  weather,  a  considera- 
ble number,  and  some  variety  of  plants  were  in  flower,  and 
others  retained  their  verdure;  indeed  the  ridge  was  more 


temperate  than  the  valley  below;  there  it  was  cold  damp  and 
penetrating;  here  dry,  and  the  atmosphere  mild.  'Of  the 
plants  growing  here  was  a  species  of  cabbage:  the  plants 
grow  with  expanded  /eaves,  spreading  on  the  ground,  of  a 
deep  green,  wTith  a  shade  of  purple;  the  taste  of  the  cabage 
was  plainly  predominant,  with  an  agreeable  warmth  inclin- 
ing to  that  of  the  radish;  several  tap -roots  penetrated  into  the 
soil  of  a  white  color,  having  the  taste  of  horse-radish,  but 
much  milder.  A  quantity  of  them  taken  to  the  camp  and 
dressed,  proved  palitable  and  mild.  It  is  not  probable  that 
cabbage  has  been  scattered  on  this  ridge;  the  hunters  ascend- 
ing this  river  have  always  had  different  objects.  Until  furth- 
er elucidation,  this  cabbage  must  be  considered  as  idigenoua 
to  this  sequestered  quarter,  and  may  be  denominated  the  cab- 
bage radish  of  the  Washita.  They  found  a  plant,  then  green, 
called  by  the  French  "racine  rouge,"  (red  root,)  which  is 
said  to  be  a  specific  in  female  obstructions;  it  has  also  been 
used,  combined  with  the  china  root,  to  dye  red,  the  last  pro- 
bably acting  as  a  mordant.  The  top  of  this  ridge  is  covered 
with  rocks  of  a  flinty  kind,  and  so  very  hard  as  to  be  impro- 
per for  gun  flints, for  when  applied  to  that  use  it  soon  digs 
cavities  in  the  hammer  of  the  lock.  This  hard  stone  is  gen- 
erally white,  but  frequently  clouded  with  red,  brown,  black, 
and  other  colors.  Here  and  there  fragments  of  iron  stone 
were  met  with,  and  where  a  tree  had  been  overturned,  its 
roots  brought  to  view  fragments  of  schistus,  which  were  suf- 
fering decomposition  from  exposure  to  the  atmosphere.  On 
digging  where  the  slope  of  the  hill  was  precipitous,  they 
found  the  second  stratum  to  be  a  reddish  day,  resembling 
that  found  on  the  conical  hill,  east  side  of  the  camp.  At 
two-thirds  down  the  hill,  the  rock  was  a  hard  free-stone,  in- 
termixed with  fragments  of  flint  which  had  probably  rolkd 
from  abive.  Still  lower  was  found  a  blue  schistus,  in  a  state 
tending  to  decomposition  where  exposed  to  the  atmosphere, 
tut  hard  and  resembling  coarse  slate  in  the  interrior.  Many 
stones  had  the  appearance  of  Turkey  oil-stones:  at  the  foot  of 
the  hill  it  expands  into  good  farming  lands. 

Dr.  Hunter,  upon  examining  the  waters  of  the  hot  springy 
obtained  the  following  results: 


It  differed  nothing  from  the  hot  water  in  smell  or  taste, 
but  caused  a  slight  eruction  shortly  after  drir.king  it. 

Its  specific  gravity  is  equal  to  rain  or  distilled  water. 

It  gave  to  litmus  paper,  a  slight  degree  of  redness  evin- 
cing the  presence  of  the  carbonic  acid,  or  fixed  air  sulphuric 
and  threw  down  a  few  detached  particles.  Oxylat  of  am- 
moniac caused  a  deposition  and  white  cloud,  showing  the* 
presence  of  a  small  portion  of  lime.  Prusiate  of  potash  pro- 
duced a  slight  and  scarcely  perceptible  tinge  of  bjue,  desig- 
nating the  presence  of  a  small  quantity  of  iron. 

Sixteen  pounds  of  water  evaporated  to  dry  ness,  left  ten 
grains  of  a  grey  powder,  which  proved  to  be  lime. 

The  myrtle  wax  tree  grows  in  the  vicinity  of  the  springs. 
At  the  season  in  which  the  voyagers  were  .there,  the  wax 
was  no  longer  green,  but  had  changed  its  color  to  a  greyish 
white,  from  its  long  exposure  to  the  weather.  The  berry 
when  examined  by  a  microscope,  is  less  than  the  smallest 
garden  pea,  approaching  to  an  oval  in  form.  The  nucleus, 
or  real  seed,  is  the  size  of  a  radish  and  is  covered  with  a 
number  of  kidney-shaped  glands,  of  a  brown  color  and  sweet 
taste;  these  glands  secrete  the  wax  which  completely  envel- 
ops them,  and,  at  this  season,  gives  to  the  whole  the  appear- 
ance of  an  imperfectly  white  berry.  This  is  a  valuable 
plant  and  merits  attention:  its  favorite  portion  is  a  dry  soil, 
rather  poor,  and  looking  down  upon  the  water.  It  is  well 
adapted  to  ornament  the  margins  of  canals,  lakes,  or  rivulets. 
The  cassina  yapon;  is  equally  beautiful;  and  proper  for  the 
same  purpose:  it  grows  here  along  the  banks  of  this  stony 
creek,  intermingled  with  the  myrtle  and  bears  a  beautiful  lit- 
tle red  berry ;  very  much  resembling  the  red  currant. 

The  rock  through  which  the  hot  springs  either  pass  or 
trickle  over,  appears  undermined  by  the  waters  of  the  creek. 
The  hot  water  is  continually  depositing  calcareous,  and  per- 
haps, some  silicious  matter,  forming  new  rocks,  always  aug> 
menting  and  projecting  their  promontories  over  the  running 
water  of  the  creek,  which  prevents  its  formation  below  the 
surface.:  Whenever  this  ealcareous  crust  is  seen  spreading 
over  the  bank  and  margin  of  the  creek,  there,  most  certainly, 
the  hot  water  will  be  found  either  running  over  the  susfaee, 


or  through  some  channel,  perhaps  below  the  new  rock,  or 
dripping  from  the  edges  of  the  overhanging  precipice.  The 
progress  of  nature  in.  the  formation  of  this  new  rock  is  cu- 
rious, and  worthy  the  attention  of  the  mineralogist.  When 
the  hot  water  issues  from  the  fountain,  it  frequsntly  spreads 
over  a  superficious  of  some  extent;. so -far  as  it  reaches  on. 
either  hand,  there  is  a  deposition  of,  or  growth,  of  green 
matter.  Several  laminse  of  this  green  matter  will  be  found 
lying  over  each  other;  and  immediately  under,  and  in  contact 
with  the  interior  laminae,  which  is  not  thicker  than  paper,  is 
found  a  whitish  substance  resembling  a  coagulum;  when 
viewed  with  a  microscope,  this  last  is  also  found  to  consist 
of  several,  sometimes  a  good  number  of  lamina,  of  which 
that  next  the  green  is  the  finest  and  thinest,  being  the  last 
formed;  those  below  increasing  in  thickness  and  tenacity  un- 
til the  last  terminates  in  a  soft  earthy  matter,  which  reposes 
on  tiie  more  solid  rock.  Each  laminse  of  the  coagulum  is 
penetrated  in  all  its  parts  by  calcareous  grains,  extremely 
minute,  and  divided  in  the  more  recent  web,  but  much  larger 
and  occupying  the  whole  of  the  inferior  laminse-.  The  under 
stratum  is  continually  consolidating,  and  adding  bulk  and 
height  to  the  rock.  When  this  acquires  such  an  elevation 
as  to  stop  the  passage  of  the  water,  it  finds  another  course 
over  the  rock,  hill,  or  margin  of  the  creek,  forming  ia  turn, 
accumulations  of  matter  over  the  whole  of  the  adjacent 
space.  When  the  water  has  found  itself  a  new  channel,  the 
green  matter,  which  sometimes  acquires  a  thickness  of  half 
an  inch,  is  speedily  converted  into  a  rich  vegetable  earth, 
and  becomes  the  food  of  plants.  The  surface  of  the  calcare- 
ous rock  also  decomposes  and  forms  the  richest  black  mould 
intimately  mixed  with  a  considerable  portion  of  soil;  plants 
and  trees  vegetate  luxuriantly  upon  it. 

On  examining  a  piece  of  ground  upon  which  the  snow  dis- 
solved as  it  fell,  and  which  was  covered  with  herbage,. they 
founxi  in  some  places,  a  calcareous  crust  on  the  surface;  but 
in  general  a  depth  of  from  five  inches  to  a  foot  of  the  richest 
black  mould.  The  surface  was  sensibly  warm  to  the  touch. 
In  the  air  the  mercury  in  the  Thermometer  stood  at  44; 
when  placed  fouj  inches  under  Ike  surface,  and  covered  with. 


earth,  it  rose  rapidly  to  68;  and  upon  the  calcareous   rock,  - 
eight  inches  beneath  the  surface,  it  rose  to  80.     This  result 
was  uniform  over  the  whole  surface,  which  was  about  a  quar- 
ter of  an  acre. 

On  searching  they  found  a  spring,  about  fifteen  inches  un- 
der the  surface,  in  the  water  of  which  the  Thermometer 
showed  a  temperature  of  130.  Beneath  the  black,  mould 
was  found  a  brown  mixture  of  lime  and  silex,  very  loose  and 
divisible,  apparently  in  ,1  state  of  decomposition,  and  pro- 
gressing towards  the  .formation  of  a  black  mould;  under  this 
brownish  mass  it  became  gradually  whiter  and  harder,  to  the 
depth  of  from  six  to  twelve  inches,  where  it  was  a  calcare- 
ous sparkling  stone.  It  was  evident  that  the  water  had  pas- 
sed over  this  place,  and  formed  a  flat  superfices  of  solicious 
limestone;  and  that  its  position,  nearly  level,  had  facilitated 
the  accumulation  of  earth,  in  proportion  as  the  decomposi- 
tion advanced.  Similar  spots  of  ground  were  found  higher 
up  the  hill,  resembling  little  savannas,  near  which  hot 
springs  were  always  discovered,  which  had  once  flowed  over 
them.  It  appears  probable  that  the  hot  water  of  the  springs, 
at  an  early  period,  had  all  issued  from, its  grand  reservoir  in 
the  hill,  at  a  much  greater  elevation  than  at  present.  The 
calcareous  crust  may  be  traced  up,  in  most  situations  on  the 
west  side  of  the  hill  looking  down  the  creek  and  valley,  to  a 
certain  height,  and  perhaps  one  hundred  feet  perpendicular; 
in  this  region  the  hill  rises  precipitously,  and  is  studded  with 
hard  silicious  stones;  below,  the  descent  is  more  gradual,  and 
the  soil  a  calcareous  black  earth.  It  is  easy  to  discriminate 
the  primitive  hill  from  that  which  has  accumulated,  by  pre- 
sipitation,  from  the  water  of  the  springs:  this  last  is  entire- 
ly confined  to  the  west  side  of  the  hill,  and  washed  at  its 
base  by  the  waters  of  the  creek,  no  hot  spring  being  visible 
in  any  other  part  of  its  circumference.  By  actual  measure- 
ment along  the  base  of  the  hill  the  influence  of  the  springs 
is  found  to  extend  seventy  perches,  in  a  direction  a  little  to- 
the  east  of  north:  along  the  whole  of  this  space  the  springs 
have  deposited  stony  matter,  calcareous  with  an  addition  of 
silex  or  cryitallized  lime.  The  accumulation  of  calcareous 
matter  is  more  considerable  at  the  north  end  of  the  hill  than 


'the  south;  the  first  may  be  above  one  hundred  feet  perpendic- 
ular, but  sloping  much  more  gradually  than  the  primitive 
hill  above,  until  it  approaches  the  creek,  where  not  unfre- 
quently  it  terminates  in  a  precipice  of  from  six  to  twenty 
feet.  The  difference  between  the  primitive  and  secondary 
hill  is  so  striking  that  a  superficial  observer  must  notice  it; 
the  first  is  regularly  very  steep,  and  studded  with  rock  and 
stone  of  the  hardest  flint,  and  other  silicious  compounds, 
and  a  superficies  of  two  or  three  inches  of  good  mould  cov- 
ers a  red  clay;  below,  on  the  secondary  hill,  which  carries 
evident  marks  of  recent  formation,  PO  flint,  or  silicious  stone, 
is  found;  the  calcareous  rock  conceals  all  from  view,  and  is, 
itself,  frequently  covered  by  much  fine  rich  earth.  It  would 
seem  that  this  compound,  precipitated  from  the  hot  water, 
yields  easily  to  the  influence  of  the  atmosphere;  for  where 
the  waters  cease  to  flow  over  any  portion  of  the  rock,  it 
speedily  decomposes;  probably  more  rapidly  from  the  heat 
communicated  from  the  interrior  part  of  the  hill,  as  insu- 
lated masses  of  the  rock  are  observed  to  remain  without 

The  cedar,  the  wax  myrtle,  and  the  cassina  yapon,  all  ever- 
greens, attach  themselves  particularly  to  the  calcareous  re- 
gion, and  seem  to  grow  and  thrive  even  in  the  clefts  of  the 
solid  rock. 

A  spring,  enjoying  a  freedom  of  position,  proceeds  with 
great  regularity  in  depositing  the  matter  it  holds  in  solution; 
the  border  or  rim  of  its  basin  forms  an  elevated  ridge,  from 
whence  proceeds  a  glacis  all  around,  where  the  waters  have 
flowed  for  some  time  over  that  part  of  the  brim;  this  becomes 
more  elevated,  and  the  water  has  to  seek  a  passage  where 
there  is  less  resistance:  thus  forming  in  minature,  a  crater 
resembling  in  shape  the  conical  summit  of  a  volcano.  The 
hill  being  steep  above  the  progress  of  petrifaction  is  stopped 
on  that  side,  and  the  waters  continue  to  flow  and  spread 
abroad,  incrusting  the  whole  face  of  the  hill  below.  The 
last  formed  calcareous  border  of  the  circular  basin  is  soft, 
and  easily  divided;  at  a  small  depth  it  is  more  compact;  and 
at  the  depth  of  six  inches  it  is  generally  hard  white  stone. 
If  the  bottom  of  the  basin  is  stirred  up,  a  quantity  of  red 



calx  of  iron  rises,  and  escapes  over  the  summit  of  the  cri-  < 

Visitants  to  the  hot  springs,  having  observed  shrubs  and 
trees  with  their  roots  in  the  hot  vvaler,  have  been  induced  to 
try  experiments,  by  sticking  branches  of  trees  in  the  run  of/ 
hot  water.  Some  branches  of  the  wax  myrtle  were  found 
thrust  into  the  bottom  of  a  spring  run,  the  water  of  which 
was  130.  by  Fahrenheit's  thermometer;  the  foliage  and  fruit 
of  the  branch  were  not  only  sound  and  healthy,  but  at  the 
surface  of  the  water,  roots  were  actually  sprouting  from  it:- 
on  pulling  it  up,  the  part  which  had  penetrated  ihe  hot  inud 
was  found  decayed. 

The  green  substance  discoverable  at  the  bottom  of  the  hot 
springs,  and  which  at  firs-t  sight  has  the  appearance  of  plush, 
on  examination  by  the.  microscope,  was  found  to  be  a  vegeta- 
ble production.  A  film  of  Green  matter  spreads  itself  on 
the  calcareous. base,  from  which  rises  fibres  more  than  half 
an  inch  in  length,  forming  a  beautiful  vegetation..  Before  the 
microscope  it  sparkled  with  innumerable  nodules  of  lime, 
some  part  of  which  was  beautifully  crystallized..  The  cir- 
cumstance might  cause  a  doubt  of  its  being  a  true  vegetable,; 
but  its  great  resemblance  to  some  of  the  mosses,  particular- 
ly the  byssi,  and  the  discovery  which  Mr.  Dunbar  made  of 
its  being  the  residence  of  animal  life,  confirmed  his  belief  in 
its  being  a  true  moss.  After  a  diligent  search  he  discovered 
a  very  minute  shell-fish,  of  the  bivalve  kind,  inhabiting1  this 
moss;  its  shape  nearly  that  of  tho  fresh  water  muclii;  the  col- 
or of  the  shell  a  greyish  brown,  with  spots  of  a  purplish  col- 
or. When  the  animal  is  undisturbed  it  opens  the  shell,  and 
thrusts  out  four  legs,  very  transparent,  and  articulated  like 
those  of  a  otuadruped;  the  extremities  of  the  fore  legs,  are  ve- 
ry clender  and  sharp,  but  those  of 'the  hind  legs  somewhat 
broader,  apparently  armed  with  niihute  toes;  from  the  ex- 
tremity of 'each  shell  issues  three  or  four  forked  hairs,  which 
the  animal  seems  to  possess  the  power  of  moving;  the  fore 
legs  are  probably  formed  for  making  incisions  into  the  mosa 
for  the  purpose  of  procuring  access  to  the  juices  of  the  living 
plant,  upon  which,  no  doubt,  it  feeds:  it  may  be  provided 
with  a  proboscis,  although  it  did  not  appear  while  the  animal  > 

LE\\rrs  AND  CLARK H.  211 

v/as  under  examination:  the  hind  legs  are  well  adapted  for 
propelling  it  in  its  progress  over  the  mo^s,  01*  through  th<2 

1't  would  be  deferable  to  ascertain  the  cause  of  that  per- 
petual lire  which  keeps  up  the  high  temperature  of  so  many 
springs  as  flow  from  this  hill,  at  a  considerate  distance  from. 
*?nch  other:  upon  looking  around,  ho vfrevfir,  sufficient  data  fur 
the  solution  of  the  difficulty  are  not  discoverable.  Nothing  of 
a  vulcanic  nature  is  to  be  seen  in  this  country;  neither  could 
iliey  iearn  that  a.ny  evidence  in  favor  of  such  a  supposition 
was  to  be  found  in  the  mountains  connected  with-  this  river.. 
An  immense  bed 'of  dark  blue  sciiittus  appears  to  forriK  the 
base  of  the  lu.-t  spiin^  lull,  and  of  all  those  in  its  neighbor-. 
JfuouVthe  bottom  «>f  the  creek  is  formed  of  it;  and  pieces 
are  frequently  met  w-iLii  rendered  soft  by  decomposition,  and 
possessing  a  strong  aiumiuo'js  tu&te,  requiring  nothing  but 
lixiviation  and  cr/sUliizUion  to  complete  the  manufacture  of 
iflluiii.  As  bodies  undergoing  chemic a'  changes  generally 
produce  an  alteration  of  temperature,  the  heat  of  these 
springs  may  be  owing  to  the  d^engagement  of  caloric,  or  the 
decomposition  of  the  sehistus:  another,  and  perhaps  a  more 
satisfactory  cause  may  be  assigned:  it  is  well  known,,  that, 
within  tiie  circle  of  the  waters  of  this  river  vast  beds  of  mar- 
tial pyriat  exist,  they  have  not  yet,  however,  been  discover- 
ed in  the  vicinage  of  the  hot  springs,  bat  may,  nevertheless, 
foiiu  immense  beds  under  the  bases  of  these  hills,  and  aa  ia 
one  place  at  least  there  is  evidence  of  the  presence  of  bitu- 
men, the  union  of  tii'ese  agents  will,  in  the  progress  of  de- 
composition, by  the  admission. of  air  and  moisture,  produce- 
degrees  of  heat  capable  of  supporting  the  phenomena  of  the 
hot  spaings.  Ao  sulphuric  acid  is  present  in  this  water;  the 
springs  muy  be  supplied  by  the  vapour  of  heated  water,  a&- 
cendiug  from  civerns  where  the  heal  is  generated,  or  Uie 
lieat  may  be  immediately  applied' to  the  bottom  of  an  im- 
mense natural  chaldron  or  rock,  contained  in  the  bowels  of 
the  hill,  tiviii  whicii  as  a  reservoir  the  springs  may  bo  sup- 

A  serie.8  of  accurate  observations  determined/ the  latitude 
«(f  the  hot  tarings  to  ba34.  31..4E,.  1C.   N.  and   long.   Co.. 


11.25.  or  92.  50.  45.   W.  from  the  meridian   of  Green- 

While  M.  Dunbar  was  making  arrangements  for  transpor- 
ting the  baggage  back  to  the  river  camp,  doctor  Hunter? 
with  a  small  party,  went  on  an  excursion  into  the  country. 
He  left  the  hot  springs  on  the  morning  of  the  k<J7th,  and  af- 
ter travelling  sometime  pver  hills  arid  steep  craggy  moun- 
tains with  narrow  valleys  between,  then  up  the  valleys  and 
generally  by  the  Bide  of  a  branch  emtying  into  the  Washita, 
they  reached  the  main  branch  of  the  Calfat  in  the  evening, 
about  twelve  miles  from  the  springs.  The  stones  they  met 
with  during  the  first  part  of  the  day  were  silicious,  of  a 
whitish-grey,  with  flints,  white,  cream-colored,  red,  &c.— 
The  beds  of  the  rivulets,  and  often  a  considerable  way  up 
the  hills,  showed  immense  bodies  of  schistus,  both  blue  and 
and  grey,  some  of  it  efflorescing  and  tasting  strongly  of  al- 
lum.  The  latter  part  of  the  day  they  travelled  over  between 
hills  of  black,  hard,  and  compact  flint  in  shapeless  masses, 
with  schist  as  before.  On  ascending  these  high  grounds  you 
distinctly  perceive  the  commencement  of  the  piny  region, 
beginning  at  the  height  of  sixty  or  seventy  feet,  and  extend- 
ing to  the  top.  The  soil  in  these  narrow  valleys  is  thin  and 
full  of  stones.  The  next  day,  which  was  stormy,  they  reach- 
ed a  branch  of  the  bayou  de  saline,  which  stretches  towards 
the  Arkansas,  and  empties  into  the  Washita  many  leagues 
beiow,  having  gone  about  twelve  miles.  The  mountains 
they  had  passed  being  of  the  primitive  kind  which  seldom 
produce  metals,  and  having  hitherto  seen  nothing  of  the 
mineral  kind,  a  little  poor  iron  ore  excepted,  and  the  face  of 
the  country,  as  far  as  they  could  see,  presenting  the  same  as- 
pect; they  returned  to  the  camp,  and  the  hot  springs,  on  the 
evening  of  the  13th  by  another  route,  in  which  they  met 
with  nothing  worthy  of  notice. 

In  consequence  of  the  rains  which  had  fallen,  Mr.  Dunbar, 
and  those  who  were  transporting  the  baggage  to  the  river 
camp,  found  the  road  watery.  The  soil  on  the  flat  lands  under 
the  stratum  of  vegetable  mould  is  yellowish,  and  consists  of  de- 
composed schistus,  of  which  there  are  immense  beds  in  eve- 
ry stage  of  dissolution,  from  the  hard  stone  recently  uncov- 


ered  and  partially  decomposed,  to  the  yellow  and  apparently 
hoinogenious  earth.  The  covering  earth  between  the  hills 
and  the  river  is  in  most  places;  sufficiently  thick  to  consti- 
tute a  good  soil,  being  from  four  to  six  inches;  and  it  is  the 
opinion  of  the  people  upon  the  Washita,  that  wheat  will 
grow  here  to  great  perfection.  Although  the  higher  hills, 
from  three  hundred  to  BIX  hundred  feet  in  height,  are  very 
rocky,  yet  tho  inferior  hills,  and  the  sloping  bases  of  the 
first,  are  generally  covered  with  a  soil  of  a  middling  quali- 
ty. The  natural  productions  are  sufficiently  luxuriant, 
consisting  chiefly  of  black  and  red  oak,  intermixed  with 
u  variety  of  other  woods,  and;a  considerable  undergrowth. 
Even  on  these  rocky  hills  are  three  or  four  species  of  vines, 
said  to  produce  annually  an  abundance  of  excellent  grapes. 
A  Great  variety  of  plants  which  grow  here,  borne  of  which 
in  their  season  are  said  to  produce  flowers  highly  ornamen- 
tal, would  prabably  reward  the  researches  of  the  botanist. 

On  the  morning  of  the  8th  of  January,  1885,  the  party 
left  Elles'  on  the  river  camp,  where  they  had  been  detained 
for  several  days,  waiting  for  such  a  rise  in  the  waters  of  the 
river,  as  would  carry  their  boat  in  safety  over  the  numerous 
rapids  below.  A  rise  of  about  six  feet,  which  had  taken 
place  the  evening  before,  determined  them  to  move  this  morn- 
ing; and  they  passed  the  Cuttes  about  1  o'clock.  They  stop- 
ped  to  examine  the  rocky  promontory  below  these  falls,  and 
took  some  specimens  of  the  stone  which  so  much  resembles 
the  Turkey  oil-stone.  It  appears  too  hard.  The  strata  of 
this  chain  were  observed  to  run  perpendicularly  nearly  east 
and  \ve»t,  crossed  by  the  fissures  at  right  angles  from  five  to 
•eight  fjet  apart;  the  lamintE  from  one  fuurth  of  an  inch  to 
five  inches  in  thickness.  About  a  league  below,  they  landed 
at  Whetstone  hill  and  took  several  specimens.  This  pro- 
jecting hill  i^  a  mass  of  greyish  blue  schistus  of  considera- 
ble hardness,  and  about  twenty  feet  perpendicular,  not  regu- 
larly so,  and  from  a  quarter  to  two  inches  in  thickness,  but 
djes  not  split  with  an  even  surface. 

They  landed  again  on  the  morning  of  the  9th.  in  sight  of 
the  bayou  de  la  praire  de  champignole,  to  examine  and  take 
specimens  of  some/ree-stone  and  blue  slate.  The  slate  is  a 


blue  scliistus,  h  Til,  Iri  tie,  and  unfit  for  the  covering  of* 
'house,  none  prorer  for  that  purpose  have  beei  discovered:  ex- 
cept on  the  Calfut,  whi.:h,  Dr  Hunter  met  with  in  one  of  his 

On  the  evening  of  the  ICth  they  encamped  near  Arclon's 
Troughs,  having  b°en  oT;lv  throe  days  in  descending  the  diF- 
tanc?  which  took  them  thirteen  to  ascend.  They  stopped 
pome  time  at  the  camp  of  a  Mr.  T,e  Fevre.  He  is  an  intel- 
ligent man,  a  native  of  the  Illinois,  hut  now  residing  at  the 
Arkansas.  He  came  here  with  some  Delaware  and  ether 
Indians,  whom  he  had  fitted  out  with  goods,  and  receives 
their  peltry,  fur,  and  <Sco.  at.  a  stipulated  price,  as  it  is  brought 
in  by  the  hunters,  Mr.  Lc  Fevre  po?sesFes  considerable 
knowledge  of  the  interior  of  the  country;  he  confirms  the 
accounts  before  obtained,  that  the  hills  or  mountains  which 
give  rise  to  this  little-river  are  in  a  manner  insulated;  that  is, 
they  are  entirely  shut  in  and  enclosed  by  the  immense  pliins 
or  prairies  which  extern!  beyond  the  Red  river,  to  the  south, 
and  beyond  the  Missouri  or  at  )east  sorr**  of  its  branches, 
to  the  north,  nnd  range  along  the  eastern  ba??  of  the  great 
chain,  or  divirhg  line,  commonly  known  by  the  name  of  the 
par.dhills,  which  separate  the  waters  of  the  Mississippi  from 
those  which  fall  into  the  Pacific  ocean.  The  breadth  of  this 
great  plain  is  not  well  ascertained.  It  is  paid  by  some  to  be 
at  certain  parts,  or  in  certain  directions,  not  less  than  two 
hundred  leagues;  but  it  is  agreed  by  all  who  have  a  knowl- 
edge of  the  western  country,  that  the  mam  breadth  is  at 
least  two  thirds  of  that  distance.  A  branch  of  the  Missouri 
called  the  river  Plaitte,  or  shallow  river,  is  ernd  to  take  its 
rise  so  far  south  as  to  derive  its  first  waters  from  the'  neigh- 
borhood of  the  sources  of  the  Red  and  Arkansas  rivers.  i»y 
the  expression  plains  or  prairies  in  this  place,  is  not  to  be  un- 
derstood a  dead  flat,  resembling  certain  savannas,  whose  soil 
is  stiff  and  impenetrable,  often  under  water,  and  bearing  on- 
ly a  coarse  grass  resembling  reeds;  very  different  are  the 
western  prairies;  which  expression  signifies  only  a  country 
without  timber.  These  prairies  are  neither  flat  nor  hilly,  but 
undulating  into  gentle  swelling  lawns  and  expanding  into 
spacious  valleys,  in  the  centre  of  which  is  always  found  a  lit- 


"tie  timber  growing  on  the  banks  of  the  brooks  and   rivulets 
of  the  finest  waters. 

The  whole  of  these  prairies  are  represented  to  be  compo- 
sed of  the  richest  and  most  fertile  soil;  the  most  luxuriant 
and  succulent  herbage  covers  the  surface  of  the  earth,  in- 
terspersed with  millions  of  flowers  and  flowering  shrubs,  of 
the  most  ornamental  kinds.  Those  who  have  viewed  only  a 
skirt  of  these  prairies,  speak  of  them  with  enthusiasm,  as  if 
it  was  only  there  nature  was  to  be  found  truly  perfect;  they 
declare  that  the  fertility  and  beauty  of  the  rising  grounds, 
the  extreme  richness  of  the  vales,  the  coolness  and  excellent 
quality  of  the  water  found  in  every  valley,  the  salubrity  of 
the  atmosphere,  and  above  all,  the  grandeur  of  the  enchant- 
ing landscapes  which  this  country  presents,  inspire  the  soul 
with  sensations  not  to  be  felt  in  any  other  region  of  the 
globe.  This  paradise  is  now  very  thinly  inhabited  by  a  few, 
tribes  of  savages,  an'd  by  the  immense  heards  of  wild  cattle, 
(bison)  which  people  these  countries.  The  cattle  perform 
regular  migrations,  according  to  the  seasons,  from  south  to 
north,  and  from  the  plains  of  the  mountains;  and  in  due  time 
tiught  by  their  instincts,  take  a  retrogade  direction. 

These  tribes  move  in  the  rear  of  the  herds,  and  pick  up 
stragglers,  and  such  as  lag  behind,  which  they  kill  with  the 
bow  and  arrow  for  their  subsistence.  This  country  is  not 
subjected  to  those  very  sudden  deluges  of  rain  which  in  most 
hot  countries,  and  even  the  Mississippi  territory,  tear  up  and 
sweep  away  with  irresistible  fury,  the  crop  and  soil  together: 
and  on  the  contrary,  rain  is  said  to  become  more  rare  in  pro-  . 
portion  as  the  great  chain  of  mountains  is  approached;  and  it 
would  seem  that  within  the  sphere  of  the  attraction  of  those 
elevated  ridges,  little  or  no  rain  falls  on  the  adjoining  plains. 
This  relation  is  the  more  credible,  as  in  thai  respect  our  new 
country  may  resemble  other  flat  or  comparatively  low  coun- 
tries, similarly  situated;  such  as  the  country  lying  between 
the  Amies  and  the  western  Pacific;  the  plains  are  supplied 
nightly  with  dews  so  extremely  abundant,  as  to  have  the  ef- 
fect of  refreshing  showers  of  rain;  and  the  spacious  valleys, 
which  are  extremely  level,  may  with  facility,  bo  watered  by 
Ifae.  rills  and  brooks  which  are  never  absent  from  these  eitua- 


lions.  Such  is  the  description  of  the  better  known  country 
lying  to  the  south  of  Red  river,  from  Naco'gdochea  towards 
St.  Antonio,  in  the  province  of  Texas;  the  richest  crops  are 
said  to  be  produced  there  without  rain;  but  agriculture  in 
that  quarter  is  at  a  low  ebb;  the  small  quantities  of  maize 
furnished  by  the  country,  is  said  to  be  raised  without  culti- 
vation. A  rude  opening  is  made  in  the  earth,  sufficient  to 
deposit  the  grain,  at  the  distance  of  four  or  five  feet,  in  ir- 
regular squares,  und  the  rest  is  left  to  nature.  The  soil'  is 
tender,  spongy  and  rich,  and  seems  always  to  retain  humid- 
ity sufficient,  with  the  bounteous  dews  of  heaven,  to  bring 
the  crops  to  maturity. 

The  Red  and  Arkansas  rivers,  whose  courses  are  very 
long,  pass  through  portions  of  this  fine  country.  They  are 
both  navigable  to  an  unknown  distance  by  boats  of  proper 
construction:  the  Arkansas  river  is,  however,  understood  to 
have  greatly  the  advantage  with  respect  to  the  facility  of 
navigation.  Some  difficult  places  are  met  with  in  tne  Red 
river  below  the  Nakitosh,  after  which  it  is  good  for  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  leagues  (probably  computed  leagues  of  the 
country,  about  two  miles  each;)  there  the  voyager  meets 
with  a  very  serious  obstacle,  the  commencement  of  the  'raft,' 
as  it  is  called;  that  is,  a  natural  covering  which  conceals  the 
whole  river  for  an  extent  of  seventeen  leagues,  continually 
augmenting  by  the  drift-wood  brought  down  by  every  con- 
siderable fresh.  This  covering,  which,  for  a  considerable 
time  was  only  drift- wood, now  supports  a  vegetation  of  eve- 
ry thing  abounding  in  the  neighboring  forest,  not  excepting 
trees  of  a  considerable  size;  and  the  river  may  be  frequently 
passed  without  any  knowledge  of  its  existence.  It  is  said 
that  the  annual  inundation  is  opening  for  itself  a  new  pas- 
sage through  the  low  grounds  near  the  hills;  but  it  must  be- 
long before  nature,  unaided  will  excavate  a  passage  sufficient 
for  the  waters  of  the  Hed  river.  About  fifty  leagues  above 
this  natural  bridge,  is.  the  residence  of  the  Cadaux  orCada- 
doquies  nation,  whose  good  qualities  are  already  mentioned. 
The  inhabitants  estimate  the  post  of  Nakitosh  to  be  half 
way  between  New-Orleans  and.Jthe  Cadaux  natioa,.  Above 
this  point  the  navigation  of.  th^liediiver.ia.  said  t<*  be  em- 


barrassed  by  miny  rapids,  falls  and  shallows*  The  Arkan- 
sas river  is  said  to  present  a  safe,  agreeable  and  uninterrupted 
navigation  as  high  as  it  is  known.  The  lands  on  each  side 
are  of  the  best  quality,  and  well  watered  with  springs, 
brooks  and  rivulets,  affording  many  situations  for  rnili  seats. 
From  description,  it  would  seem  that  along  this  river  there  is 
a  regular  gradation  of  hill  and  dale,  presenting  their  extrem- 
ities to  the  river;  the  hills  are  gently  swelling  eminences, 
and  the  dales  spacious  valleys  with  living  water  meandering 
through  them;  the  forests  consist  of  handsome  trees, chiefly 
what  is  called  open  woods.  The  quality  of  the  land  is  sup- 
posed superior  to  that  on  the  Red  river,  until  it  asscends  to 
the  prairie  country,  where  the  land  on  both  sides  is  probably 

About  two  hundred  leagues  up  the  Arkansas  is  an  interes- 
ting place  called  the  Salt  prairie:  there  is  a  considerable  fork 
of  the  river  there,  and  a  kind  of  savanna  where  the  salt  water 
is  continually  oozing  out  and  spreading  over  the  surface  of  a 
plain.  During  the  dry  summer  season  the  salt  may  be  raked 
up  in  large  heaps:  a  natural  crust  of  a  hind  breath  in  thick- 
ness is  formed  at  this  season.  This  place  is  not  often  fre- 
quented, on  account  of  the  danger  from  the  Usage  Indians: 
much  less  dare  the  white  hunturs  venture  to  ascend  higher, 
where  it  is  generally  believed  that  silver  is  to  be  found.  It 
is  further  said,  that  high  up  the  Arkansas  river,  salt  is  found 
in  a  solid  form,  and  may  be  dug  out  with  the  crow  bar.  The 
waters  of  the  Arkansas,  like  those  of  the  Red  river,  are  not 
portable  during  the  dry  season,  being  both  charged  highly 
with  a  reddish  earth  or  mould  and  extremely  brackish. 

This  inconvenience  is  not  greatly  felt  upon  the  Arkansas, 
where  s;>rin^s  and  brooks  of  fresh  water  are  frequent;  the 
Red  river  is  understood  not  to  be  so  highly,  favoured.  Eve- 
ry account  seems  to  prove  that  immense  natural  magazines 
of  salt  must  exist  in  the  great  chain  of  mountains  to  the 
westward;  as  all  the  rivers  in  the  summer  .season,  which  flow 
from  them  are  strongly  impregnated  with,  .that  mineral,  and 
are  only  rendered  palatable  after:  receiving  the  numerous 
streams  of  fresh  water  which  join  them  in  their  course. — 
The  great  western  prairies,  besides  the  herds  of  wild  cattle, 


(bison,  commonly  called  buffalo)  arc  clso  stocked  with  vast 
numbers  of  wild  goat  (not  resembling  the  dome-st'c  groat)  ex- 
tremely swift  footed.  As  the  description  given  of  this  goat 
is  not  perfect,  it  may  from  its  swiftness  prove  to  be  the  an- 
telope; or  it  may  possibly  be  a  goat  which  has  escaped  from 
the  Spanish  Settlements  of  New  Mexico.  A  Canadian,  who 
had  been  much  with  the  Indians  to  the  westward,  speaks  of  a 
wool-bearing  animal  larger  than  a  sheep,  the  wool  much 
mixed  with  hair,  which  he -had  seen  in  large  flocks.  He 
pretends  also  to  huve  seen  a  unicorn,  the  single  horn  of 
which,  he  says,  rises  out  of  the  forehead  and  curls  back, 
conveying  the  idea  of  the  fossil  cornu  ammanis.  This  man 
says  he  has  travelled  beyond  the  great  dividing  ridge  so  far 
as  to  have  seen  a  large  river  flowing1  to  the  westward.  The 
great  dividing  mountain  is  so  lofty  that  it  requires  two  days 
to  ascend  from  the  base  to  its  top;  other  ranges  of  inferior 
mountains  lie  before  and  behind  it;  they  are  all  rocky  and. 
sandy.  'Large  lakes  and  valleys  lie  between  the  rnountainr. 
Some  oT'the  lakes  are  so  large  as  to  contain  considerable 
islands;  the  rivers  flow  from  some  of  them.  Great  numbers 
of  fossil  bones,  of  very  large  dimensions  ar-3  seen  among 
the  moutains,  which  the  Canadian  supposes  to  be  the  ele- 

He  does  not  pretend  to  have  seen  any  of  the  precious  me- 
tals, but  has  seen  a  mineral  which  he  supposes  mi  jht  yield 
'Copper.  From  the  top  of  the  high  mountain  the  view  is 
bounded  by  a  curve  as  upon  the  ocean,  and  extends  over  the 
most  beautiful  prairies,  which  seem  to  be  unbounded,  partic- 
ularly towards  the  east.  The  finest  of  the  lands  he  has  seen 
are  on  the  Missouri;  no  other  can  compare  in  richness  and 
fertility  with  them.  This  Canadian,  as  well  as  Le  Fevre, 
speaks  of  the  Osages.  of  the  tribe  of  Whitchairs,  as  law- 
less and  unprincipled.;  and  the  other  Indian  tribes  hold  them 
in  abhorence  as  a  barbarous  and  uncivilized  race,  and  the 
different  nations  who  hunt  in  their  neighborhood,  have  been 
concerting  plans  for  their  destruction.  On  the  morning  of 
the  llth,  the  party  passed  the  petit  ecor  a  Fabri.  The 
osier,  which  grows  on  the  beaches  above,  is  not  seen  below 
upon  the  river;  aad  here  they  begin  to  meet  with  the  small 


tree  called-  'charnier'  which  grows  only  on  the  water  side, 
and  is' met  with  all1  the  way  down  the  VVashita.  The  latitude 
of  33.  40.  seems'the  northern  boundary  of  the  one,  and  the 
southern  boundary  o'F  the  other  of  these  vegetables.  Having 
noticed  the  limit  set  to  the  long  moss,  (Telandsia)  on  the  as- 
cf.nt  of  the  river,  in  latitude  33.  Mr.  Dunbar  mndo  inquiry 
of  Mr.  Le  Fevre,  as  to  its  existence  on  the  Arkansas  settle- 
ment, which  is  known  to  lie  in  about  the  same  parallel;  he 
siid,  that  its  growth  is  limited  about  ten  miles  south  of  the 
settlement,  and  that  as  remarkably,  as  if  a  line  had  been 
drawn  east  and  west  for  the  purpose;  as  it  ceases  all  at  once, 
and  not  by  degrees.  Hence  it  appears,  that  nature  has  mar- 
ked with  a  distinguishing  feature,  the  line  established  by 
congress,  between  the  Orleans  and  Lousiana  territories. — 
The  cypress  is  not  found  on  the  Washita  higher  than  thirty- 
four  degrees  .of  north  latitude. 

In  ascending  the  river,  they  found  their  rnte  of  going  to 
exceed  that  of  the  current  about  six  miles  and  a  half  in  twen- 
ty-four hours;  and  that  on  the  12th,  they  had  passed  the  apex 
of  the  tide  or  wave,  occasioned  by  the  fresh,  and  were  de- 
cending  along  an  inclined  plain;  as  they  encamped  at  night, 
they  found  themselves  in  deeper  water  the  next  morning, 
and  on  a  more  elevated  part  of  the  inclined  plain  than  they 
had  been  in  the  proceeding  evening,  from  the  progress  of  the 
apex  of  the  tide  during  their  repose. 

At  noon,  on  the  jtHh,  they  reached  the  post  of  the 

Mr.  Dunbar  being  anxious  to  rsach  the  Natchez  as  early 
as  possible,  and  being  unable  to  procure  horses  at  the  post, 
took  a  canoe  with  one  soldier  and  his  own  domestic,  to  push 
down  to  the  Catahoola;  from  whence  to  Concord  there  is  a 
road  of  thirty  miles  across  the  low  grounds.  He  set  off  ear- 
ly on  the  mornmg  of  the  20th,  and  at  night  reached  the  set- 
'tlementof  an  old  hunter,  with  whom  he  had  conversed  on 
his  way  up  the  river.  This  man  informed  him,  that  at  the 
place  called  the  mine, on  the  Little  Missouri, there  is  asmoke 
which  ascends  perpetually  from  a  particular  place,  and  that 
the  vapour  is  sometimes  insupportable.  The  river,  or  a 
branch  of  it,,  passes  .over  a  bed  of  mineral,  which  from  the 


descriptions  given,  is,  no  doubt,  martial  pyrites.  In  a  creek, 
or  a  branch  of  the  Fourche  a  Luke,  there  is  to  be  found  on 
the  beaches  and  in  the  cliffs,  a  great  number  of  globular  bod- 
ies, some  as  large,  or  larger  than  a  man's  head,  which,  when 
broken,  exhibit  the  appearance  of  gold,  silver,  and  precious 
stones;  most  probably  pyrites  and  crystallized  spar.  And  at 
the  Fourches  des  Glaises  a  Paul,  (higher  up  the  river  than 
Fourche  a  Luke,)  near  the  river  there  is  a  cliff  full  of  hexa- 
gonal prisms,  terminated  by  pyramids  which  appear  to  grow 
out  of  the  rock:  they  are  from  six  to  eight  inches  in  length, 
and  some  of  them  are  an  inch  in  diameter.  There  are  beds 
of  pyrites  found  in  several  small  creeks  communicating  with 
the  Washita,  but  it  appears  that  the  mineral  indications  are 
greatest  on  the  Little  Missouri:  because,  as  before  noted, 
sooie  cf  the  hunters  actually  worked  on  them,  and  sent  a 
parcel  of  the  ore  to  New  Orleans.  It  is  the  belief  here, 
that  the  mineral  contains  precious  metal,  but  that  the  Span- 
ish government  did  not  choose  a  mine  shuold  be  opened  so 
near  to  the  British  settlements.  An  express  prohibition  was 
issued  against  working  these  mines. 

At  this  place,  Mr.  Dunbar  obtained  one  or  two  slips  of  the 
"bois  de  are,"  (bow  wood  or  yellow  wood,}  from  the  Missouri. 
The  fruit  of  which  had  fallen  before  maturity,  lay  upon 
the  ground.  Some  were  the  size  of  a  small  orange,  with  a 
rind  full  of  tubercles;  the  color,  though  it  appeared  faded, 
still  retained  a  resemblance  to  pale  gold. 

The  tree  in  its  native  soil,  when  laden  with  its  golden 
fruit,  (nearly  as  large  as  the  eg-g  of  an  ostrich^)  presents  the 
most  splendid  appearance;  its  tbliage  is  cf  a  deep  green,  re- 
sembling the  varnished  leaf  of  the  orange  tree;  upon,  the 
whole,  no  forest  tree  can  compare  with  it  in  ornamental 
grandeur.  The  bark  of  the  young  trees  resemble,  in  tex- 
ture, the  dog-wood  bark;  the  appearance  of  the  wood  recom- 
mends it  for  a  trial  as  an  article  which  may  yield  a  yellow 
dye.  It  is  deciduous;  the  branches  are  numerous,  and  full 
of  short  thorns  or  prickles,  which  seem  to  point  it  out  as  pro- 
per fur  hedges  or  live  fences.  .  This  tree  is  kno,vn  to  exist 
near  the  Nakitosh  (perhaps  in  latitude  32,)  and  upon  the 
river  Arkansas,  high',  up  (perhaps  in  lat.  36;)  it  is  therefore 


probable  that  it  may  thrive  from  latitude  ^8  to  40  and  will 
be  a  great  acquisition  to  the  united  States  if  it  possesses  no 
other  merit  than  that  of  being  ornamental. 

In  ascending  the  river,  both  Mr.  Dunbar  and  Dr.  Hunter 
searched  for  the  place  said  to  yield  gypsum,  or  plaister  of 
paris,  but  failed.  The  former  gentleman,  that  he  has 
no  doubt  of  its  existence,  having  noted  tvv.o  places  where  it 
has  been  found;  one  of  which  is  the  first  hill,  or  high  land, 
which  tcuches  the  river  on  the  west,  above  the  bayou  Calu- 
met, and  the  other  is  the  second  highland  on  the  same  side. 
As  these  are  two  points  of  the  same  continual  ridge,  it  is 
probable  that  an  immense  body  of  gypsum  will  be  found  in  the 
bowels  of  tne  hills  where  they  meet,  and  perhaps  extending 
far  beyond  them. 

On  the  evening  of  the  22nd  Mr.  Dunbar  arrived  at  the 
Catahoola,  where  a  Frenchman  of  the  ncme  of  Hebrard, 
who  keeps  the  ferry  across  Black  river,  is  settled.  Hero  the 
road  from  the  Washita  forks,  one  branch  of  it  leading  to  the 
settlement  on  Red  river,  and  the  other  up  to  the  post  on  the 
Waehita.  The  proprietor  of  this  place  has  been  a  hunter, 
a  great  traveller  up  the  Washita  and  into  the  western  coun- 
try: he  confirms  generally  the  accounts  received  from  others. 
It  appears,  from  what  they  say,  that  in  the  neighborhood  of 
the  hot  springs,  but  higher  up,  among  the  mountains,  and 
upon  the  little  Missouri,  during  the  summer  season,  explo- 
sions are  very  frequently  heard,  proceeding  from  under  the 
ground  and  not  rarely  a  curious  phenomenon  is  seen,  which 
is  termed  the  blowing  of  the  mountains:  it  is  confined  elas- 
tic gas  forcing  a  passage  through  the  side  or  top  of  a  hill, 
driving  before  it  a  great  quantity  of  earth  and  mineral  mat- 
ter. During  the  winter  season  the  explosions  and  blowing 
of  the  mountains  entirely  cease,  from  whence  we  may  con- 
clude, that  the  cause  is  comparatively  superficial,  brought 
into  action  by  the  increased  heat  of  the  rays  of  the  summer 

The  confluence  of  the  Washita,  Catahoola  and  Tenza  is 
;an  interesting  place.  The  last  cf  these  communicates  with 
the  Mississippi  low  lamls,  by  the  intervention  of  other  creeks 
and  lakes,  and  by  one  in  particular,  called  vBayou  d 'Argent,* 



which  empties  into  the  Miss-isippi,  about  fourteen  miles 
above  Natchez.  During  high  water  there  is  a  navigation  for 
batteaux  of  any  burthen  along  the  bayou.  A  large  lake, 
called  St.  Johns  lake,  occupies  a  considerable  part  of  the 
passage  between  the  Mississippi  and  the  Tenza;  it  is  in  'a 
horse  shoe  form,  and  has,  at  some  former  period,  been  the 
bed  of  the  Mississippi:  the  nearest  part  of  it  is  about  ono 
mile  removed  from  the  river  at  the  present  time.  This  lake, 
possessing  elevated  .banks,  similar  to  those  of  the  river,  has 
been  lately  occupied  and  imp-roved.  The  Catahoola  bayou 
is  the  third  navigable  stream:  during  the  time  of  inundation 
there  is  an  excellent  communication  by  the  lake  of  that 
name,  and  from  thence,.  by  large  creeks  to  the  Red  river.-- 
The  country  around  the  point  of  union  of  these  three  rivers 
is  altogether  alluvia],,  but  the  place  of  Mr.  He  braid's  resi- 
dence is-uo  longer  subject  to  inundation.  There  is  no  doubt, 
that  as.  the  country  augments  in  population  and  riches,  this 
place  will  become  the  site  of1  a.  commercial  inland  town, 
which  will  keep  pace  with  the  progress  and  prosperity  ok* 
the  country.  One  of  the  Indian  mounts  here  is  of  a  con- 
siderable elevation,  with  a  species  of  rampart,  surrounding 
a-  large  space,  which  was,  no  doubt,  the  position  of  a  furtiii- 

Whjle  here  Mr.  Dunbar,  met  with  an  American  who  pre- 
tended to  havfc  been  up  the  Arkansas  river  three  hundred 
leagues.  The  navigation  of  tiiis..rivej  he  says  is  good  to 
that-distance;  for  boats  drawing  three  or  four  feet  water.  — 
Implicit  faith,  perhaps,  ought  not  to  b.o  given  to  his  relation, 
respecting  the  quantity  of  silver  he  pretends,  to  have  collec- 
ted there..  He  says  he  has  found  silver  on  the  VVrashita, 
thirty  leagues  above  the  hot  springs,  so  rich,  that  three 
pounds  of  it  yielded  one  pound  of  silver,  and  this  was  found 
in  a  cave.  He  asserts  also,  that'the  ore  of  the  mine  upon 
the  Little  Missouri,  was  carried  to  Kentucky,  by  a  person  of 
the  name  of  Bon,  where  it  was  found  to  yield  largely  in  silver. 
This  man  says  he  has  been  up  the  Red  river  likewise,  and 
that  there  is  a  great  rapid  just  below  the  raft,  or  natural 
bridge,  and  several  others  above  it;  that;.  the  Caddo  nation  .U 
about  fifty,  leagues  above,  tiiu  rait,  and  near  to.  their,  village, 

'224  JOURNAL  OF 

commences  the  country  of  the  great  prairies,  which  extend 
four  or  five  hundred  miles  to  the  west  of  the  sand  mountains, 
as  they  are  termed.  These  great  plains  reach  far  beyond 
the  Red  river  to  the  south  and  northward  over  the  Arkansas 
river,  and  among  the  numerous  branches  of  the  Missouri. — • 
He  confirms  the  account  of  the  beauty  and  fertility  of  the 
western  country. 

On  the  morning  of  the  25th  Mr.  Dunbar  set  out  on  horse- 
back, from  the  Catahoola  to  Natchez.  The  rain  which  had 
fallen  on  the  preceeding  days  rendered  the  roads  wet  and 
muddy,  and  it  was  two  in  the  afternoon  before  he  reached 
the  Bayou  Crocodile,  which  is  considered  half  way  between 
the  Black  river  and  the  Mississippi.  It  is  one  of  the  nu- 
merous creeks  in  the  low  grounds  which  assist  in  venting  the 
waters  of  the  inundation.  On  the  margins  of  the  water 
courses,  the  lands  are  highest  and  produce  canes;  they  fall 
off,  in  the  rear,  into  cypress  swamps  and  lakes.  The  waters 
of  the  Mississippi  were  rising,  and  it  was  with  some  diffi- 
culty that  they  reached  a  house  near  Concord  that  evening* 
This  settlement  was  begun  since  the  cession  of  Louis- 
iana to  the  United  States,  by  citizens  of  the  Mississip- 
pi territory,  who  have  established  their  residence  altogether 
upon  newly  aquired  lands,  taken  up  under  the  authority  of 
the  Spanish  commandant,  and  have  gone  to  the  expense  of 
improvement  either  in  the  names  of  themselves  or  others, 
before  the  20th  of  December,  1803,  hoping  thereby  to  hold 
their  new  possession  under  the  sanction  of  the  law. 

Exclusive  of  the  few  actual  residents  on  the  banks  of  the 
Mississippi  there  are  two  very  handsome  lakes  in  the  interi- 
or, on  the  banks  of  which  similar  settlements  have  been 
made.  He  crossed  at  the  ferry  and  at  mid-day  of  the  26th 
reached  his  own  house. 

Dr.  Hunter,  and  the  remainder  of  the  party,  followed  Mr. 
Dunbar,  down  the  Washita,  with  the  boat  in  which  they  as- 
cended the  river,  ascended  the  Mississippi,  and  reached  St. 
Catharine's  landing  on  the  morning  of  the  31st  ©f  January, 



Good  spirit 
Evil  spirit 

Female    - 
Head       - 
Fore  head 

Nose        - 
Nostrils  - 
Mouth     - 
My  teeth 
Tongue   - 
Beard      - 

Neck  - 
Throat  - 
Fingers  - 
Nails  - 

My  back 
My  belly 
Thighs    - 
My  knees 

Ki  jai  Manitou 
Matchi  manitou 




A'  wash  ish 

Us  ti  quoin 

Es  caa  tick 

Wes  ty  ky 

E  kis  ock 


Go  tith  ee  gow  mow 

O  toune 

Wip  pit  tah 



With  i  tip 

O  tow  ee  gio 

O  qui  ow 

O  koot  tag  gy 

O  nisk 

Che  chee 

Was  kos  sia 

O's  spin  gy 

No  pis  quan 


O  povam 

No  che  quoin  nth 




Heart      - 

My  father 

My  mother 

My  boy,  (son)   - 

My  girl,  (daughter) 

My  brother,. elder 

My  sister,  elder 

My  grandfather 

My  grandmother 

My  uncle 

My  nephew 

My  niece 

My  mother  in  law 

My  brother  in  law 

My  companion 

My  husband 

Blood       - 

Old  man 

I  am  angry 

I  fear      - 



Track      - 

Chief,  great  ruler 

Thief      - 


Buffalo    - 

Ferret     - 

Pole  cat 


Rein  deer 

Fallow  deer 

Beaver    - 



Mink       - 


Wolf       -.        -. 

O  thea 
Noo  ta  wie 
Nigah  wei 
Ni  stess 
Ne  miss 
Ne  moo  shum 
N'  o  kum 
N'  o'ka  miss 
Ne  too  sim 
Ne  too  sim  esquois 

Ne  wechi  wagan 
Ni  nap  pern 
Mith  coo 
Shi  nap 

Ne  kis  si  wash  en, 
Ne  goos  tow 
Ne  hea  tha  torn 
Mis  conna 

Q,ui  qua  katch. 
Sa  quasue 



Hare        - 

Marten    - 



Fisher     - 




Musk  rat 


Cow  Buffalo      - 



Eagle       - 


Crow,  Corbeau 





Outard     - 

White  Goose     - 

Grey  Goose 


Water  Hen 



Pipe  or  Jack     - 



White  Fish      - 

Pikrel      . 

Fish  (in  general) 

Spawn     . 


Trout       . 

Craw  Fish 









Cau  quah 

Ma  kisew 



Noshi  Moustouche 




Sy  sip 

Ca  Cawken 


Mes  sei  thew 

Okes  kew 

Wey  Wois 
Omi  Mee 
Wa  Wah 
Na  may  bin> 
Na  May 
Chi  chi  kan-. 
Na  gouse 
A  shag  gee 
A  thick 



Wasp      - 

Turtle     - 

Needle     - 
Fire  steel 
Fire  wood 
Cradle     - 

er    - 
Fish  Hook 

Ear-bob  - 

Wood      - 
Paddle     - 
Birch  Rind 

Touch  Wood 
Leaf        - 


Grapea    - 

Currant  - 
Winter    - 
Lake       - 

Ah  moo 
Ta  comagau 
Augusk  or  Atouche 
ASUS  ki 
Tibisca  pesim  (the  night  SUM) 




Night      - 



Drift        . 



Frost       - 


Water     - 


World      - 





Spring     - 



Rivulet    - 


Earth       - 



Wind       - 


Heat        - 


North      - 



West       - 



Broth      - 


CJrease  or  oil     - 

Marrow  fat 







Shcs  cagan 





Messe  asky  (all  the  earth) 


Kitchi  kitchi  ga  ming 


Abetah  quisheik 













Ta  k  ash  ike 


Sawena  woon 





Michiin  waboi 

Ma  qua  see 





Sinew      - 







Sledge     - 



Stocks      . 



Blanket    . 


Thread     . 

Garters    . 

Mitten*    . 


Smoking  bag 

Portage  sling 

Straight  on 




White      * 

Yellow     . 


Ugly        . 








Small  or  little 




Wig  waurn 

Ne  pa  win 

Pendog  ke 







A  chic  an 



Wape  vveyang 

Maneto  weguin 


Chi  ki-bisoon 





Goi  ask 

Mas  ki  kee 

Mes  coli 

Kpsqutch  (sume  as  black) 


Saw  saw 


Mache  nagouseu 


Kissi  Sawenogan 

Nima  petom 









'Coward    . 
Weak       . 

Spring      . 
Summer  . 

Six       .    . 

Eleven     . 
Twelve    . 
Fifteen     . 
Sixteen    . 
Twenty-two,  &c. 
Thirty      . 


Nitha  missew 
Matha  waw 
Nima  Gustaw 
Minou  scam  ing1 

New  ay 
Nish  wissic 
Peyac  osap 
Nisheu  osap 
Nithou  osap 
Neway  osap 
Niaman  osap 
Nigoutuwoesic  osap 
Nish  woesic  osap 
Jannenew  osap 
Shack  osap 
Nishevv  mitenah 
Nisliew  luitenan  peyac  oeay 
Nisheu  mitenah  nisheu  osap 
Nishtou  mitenah 
Newey  mitenah 
-Niannan  -mitenah 



Seventy   . 
Eighty     . 
Ninety     . 
Two  Hundred    . 
One  Thousand 

Better      . 

I,  or  me  . 
You,  or  thou 
They,  or  them  . 

My,  or  mine 
Whom      . 
His  or  hers 

Some,  or  some  few 
The  same 
All  the  world     . 
All  the  men 

To  burn   . 
.—  sing    . 

—  cut 

—  hide    . 

—  cover  . 

—  believe 

—  sleep  . 

—  dispute 

—  dance 


Negoutawosic  mitenak 

Niswoisic  milenah 

Sannaeu  mitenah 

Shock  mitenah 

Mitaua  mitinah 

Noshevv  mitenah  a  mitenah 

Mitenah  mitena  mitenah 




Athiwack  mithawashin 

Athiwack  mithawashin 




I  ithawaw 






Pey  peyac 


Missiacki  wanque 

Kakithaw  Kthinyock 

I  as  cow-puco 

To  couchin 









Ke  ko  mi  towock 

]\  ernay  tow 




To  do 

—  eat     . 

—  die 

—  forget 

—  speak 

—  cry  (tears)    . 

—  laugh 

—  sit  down 

—  walk 

—  fall      . 

—  works 
-—kill      . 

—  sell      . 

—  live 

—  see 

—  come  , 
Enough    . 
It  hails     - 
There  is  some    . 
There  is  . 

It  rains    . 


To-day     . 




Make,  heart, 

This  morning  . 

This  night 




Already    . 

Yet,  more 






Ah  tus  kew 

Aya  wa 


Awis  wahank 
















Nima  wecatch 



No  -         Nima 

Yes  .         Ah 

By  and  by  .  .         Pa-nima 

Always    .  ...  .          Ka  ki-kee 

Make  haste  Quethepeh 

It's  long  since  .  .         Mewaisha 


GENERAL  WASHINGTON,  while  President  of  the  United 
States  sent  an  agent  to  the  Chypewyan  Tribe,  whose  friend- 
ship it  was  requisite  we  should  cultivate,  to  preserve  the  lu- 
crative fur  trade  that  we  held  with  them.  Washington,  by 
his  agent  offered,  that  <:the  United  States  would  take  two  or 
three  of  the  sons  of  their  chiefs  and  educate  them  in  our 
Universities."  When  the  agent  had  executed  the  com- 
mand, the  Indians,  who  never  £ave  an  immediate  answer 
on  things  that  they  think  of  importance,  told  him,  <kthat 
they  would  think  of  it,"  and  after  a  short  time  returned 
for  answer,  "that  they  had  consulted  on  the  subject;  and 
that  they  were  of  an  opinion,  that  it  would  render  them  too 
effeminate  to  be  educated  in  our  colleges,  as  it  would  to- 
tally disqualify  them  to  hunt  or  pursue  the  war,  but  in  re- 
turn for  the  civility  of  their  brother  Chief,  Washington, 
that  if  he  would  send  the  sons  of  any  of  his  chiefs  among 
them,  they  would  educate  theji  to  pursue  the  chase  for  sev- 
eral days  without  eating,  and  to  go  without  clothes  in  ex- 
treme cold  weather,  and  in  frosty  nights  to  lie  en  the  ground 
without  covering,  and  every  other  thing  requisite,  to  make 
them  Indians,  and  men." 

About  sixty  years  ago,  the  French  missionaries  and  tra- 
ders, having  received  many  insults  from  the  Sawkees,  a  par- 
ty under  the  command  of  Capt.  Morand,  marched  to  revenge 
their  wrongs.  The  Captain  and  his  party  set  out  from 
Green  Bay,  in  the  winter,  when  they  were  unsuspicious  of  a 
visit  of  this  kind;  and  pursuing  his  route  over  the  snow  to 
'their  village,  which,  lay  about  60  miles  up  Fox  river,  came 


upon  them  by  surprise.  Unprepared  as  they  were,  he  found  them 
an  easy  conquest,  asd  consequently  killed  or  took  prisoners 
the  greatest  part  of  them.  On  the  return  of  the  French  to 
Green  Day,  one  of  the  Indian  chiefs  in  alliance  with  them, 
who  had  a  considerable  band  of  prisoners,  under  his  care, 
stopped  to  drink  at  a  brook;  in  the  mean  time  his  compan- 
ions went  on,  which  being  observed  by  one  of  the  women, 
whom  they  had  made  captive,  she  suddenly  seized  him  with 
both  her  hands,  whilst  he  stooped  to  drink,  by  an  exquisitely 
susceptible  part,  and  held  him  fast  till  he  expired  on  the  spot. 
As  the  chief, from  the  extreme  torture  he  suffered,  was  una 
ble  to  call  out  to  his  friends,  or  to  give  any  alarm,  they  pas- 
sed on  without  knowing  what  had  happened;  and  the  woman 
having  cut  the  bands  of  her  fellow-prisoners,  who  were  in 
the  rear,  with  them  made  her  escape.  This  heroine  was  ev- 
er after  treated  by  her  nation  as  their  deliverer,  and  made  a 
chieftess  in  her  own  right,  with  the  liberty  to  entail  the  same 
honour  on  her  descendants;  an  unusual  distinction,  and  con- 
ferred only  on  extraordinary  occasions. 

Rev.  J.  Hubbard's  compilation  of  Indian  History. 
The  Sioux  Indians,  and  many  other  tribes,  train  up  their  chil- 
dren with  the  greatest  rigour  to  render  them  almost  invulner- 
able to  the  inclemency  of  the  winter,  and  the  misfortunes 
that  unavoidably  befal  their  mode  of  life:  The  children  of 
the  Sioux  tribe,  when  taken  from  the  breast  of  their  mother 
are  compelled  to  lie  on  the  floor  like  whelps,  on  skins,  and 
with  very  liitle  covering.  When  grown  older  they  bear  in- 
cisions made  on  their  bodies  to  try  their  fortitude,  and  to 
make  them  bear  extreme  torture  as  tho'  they  were  inaccessi- 
ble to  pain.  These  Bears  are  thought  with  them  ornamen- 
tal, and  those  who  bear  the  torture  of  them  until  their  bod- 
ides  are  covered  with  a  gore  of  blood,  and  with  apparent 
pleasure,  are  much  caressed  by  the  spectaters,  who  assemble 
to  witness  their  heroism,  and  are  considered  as  initiated  in- 
into  the  list  of  warriors. 

Parties  of  these  young  warriors,  are  after  tried  in  feats  of 
daring  bravery,  and  him  who  excels  is  considered  as  their 
chief  warrior.  The  extreme  cold  that  they  bear  without  a 
murmur  is  incredible  to  an  European 



CAPTAIN  FRANKLIN,  (R.  N.)  in  his  narative  of  his  jour- 
ney  to  the  Polar  Seas,  says, — "The  Chypewyan  Indians  pro- 
fess strong  affection  for  their  children,  and  some  regard  for 
their  relations,  who  are  often  numerous,  as  they  trace  very 
far  the  ties  of  consanguinity.  A  curious  instance  of  the 
former  was  mentioned  to  us,  so  ivell  authenticated,  that  I 
shall  venture  to  give  it  in  -the  words  of  Dr.  Richardson's 
Journal.  "A  young  Chipewyan  had  separated  from  the  rest 
of  his  band,  for  the  purpose  of  trenching  beaver,  when  his 
wife,  who  was  his  sole  companion,  and  in  her  first  pregnan- 
cy, was  seized  with  the  pains  of  lobour.  She  died  oa  the 
third  day,  after  having  given  birth  to  a  fine  boy.  The  hus- 
band was  inconsolable,  and  vowed  in  his  anguish  never  to 
take  another  woman  to  wife,  but  his  grief  was  in  some  de- 
gree absorbed  in  anxiety  for  his-  infant  son.  To  preserve  its 
life  he  descended  to  the  offioe  of  nurse,  so  degrading  in  the 
eyes  of  a  Chipewyan,  as  partaking  of  the  duties  of  a  wo- 
man. He  swaddled  it  in  soft  moss,  fed  it  with  broth  made 
from  the  flesh  of  the  deer,  and  to  still  its  cries  applied  it  to 
his  breast,  praying  most  earnestly  to  the  great  Maker  of 
Life,  to  assist  his  endeavours.  The  force  of  the  powerful 
passion  by  which  he  was  actuated,  produced  the  same  ef- 
fect in  his  case,  as  it  has  done  in  some  others  which  are  re- 
corded; a  flow  of  milk  actually  took  place  from  his  breast. — 
He  succeeded  in  rearing  his  child  taught  him  to  be  a  hun- 
ter, ard  when  he  attained  the  age  of  manhood,  chose  him  a 
wife  from  the  tribe.  The  old  man  kept  his  vow  in  never 
taking  a  second  wife  himself,  but  he  delighted  in  tending 
his  son's  children,  and  when  his  daughter-in-law  used  to  in- 
terfere, saying  that  it  was  not  the  occupation  of  a  man,  he 
was  wont  to  reply,  that  he  had  promised  to  the  great  Mas- 
ter of  Life,  if  his  child  was  spared,  never  to  be  proud,  like 
the  other  Indians.  He  used  to  mention,  too,  as  a  certain 
proof  of  the  approbation  of  Providence,  that  although  he 
was  always  obliged  to  carry  his  child  on  his  back  while 
hunting,  yet  that  it  never  roused  a  mouse  by  its  cries,  being 
always  particularly  still  at  those  times.  Our  informant  (Mr, 
Wentzel,  the  guide  to  the  expedition)  added,  that  he  had  of-- 


ten  seen  this  Indian  in  his  old  age,  and  that  his  Jeft  breast, 
even  then,  retained  the  unusual  size  it  had  acquired  in  his 
occupation  of  nurse." 

'Great  African  Serpent,  killed  by  Regulus  the  Roman  Gen- 

Happy  in  the  approbation  of  his  country,  Regulus  continu- 
ed his  success,  and  led  his  forces  along  the  banks  of  the  river 
Bagrada.  There,  while  he  was  waiting  for  the  approach  of 
the  Carthagenians,  a  serpent  of  enormous  size  attacked  his 
men  as  they  went  for  water,  and  took  a  position  as  if  it  in- 
tended to  guard  the  banks  of  the  river.  It  was  a  hundred 
and  twenty  feet  long,  with  scales  impenetrable  to  any  wea- 
pon. Some  of  the  boldest  troops  at  first  went  up  to  oppose 
its  fury,  but  they  soon  fell  victims  to  their  rashness,  being 
either  killed  by  its  devouring  jaws,  or  crushed  to  pieces  by 
the  volumes  of  its  tail.  The  poisonous  vapour  that  issued 
from  it  is  represented  as  still  more  formidable;  and  the 
men  were  so  much  terrified  at  its  appearance,  that  they 
asserted,  they  would  much  more  joyfully  have  faced  the 
whole  Carthaginian  army.  For  some  time  it  seemed  un- 
certain which  should  remain  masters  of  the  river.  At  last, 
Regulus  was  obliged  to  make  use  of  the  machines  employed 
in  battering  down  the  walls  of  cities:  and,  notwithstanding 
this,  the  serpent,  for  a  long  time,  withstood  all  his  efforts, 
and  destroyed  numbers  of  his  men;  but  at  length,  a  very 
large  stone,  which  was  flung  from  an  engine,  happened  to 
break  its  spine,  and  weakened  its  motion,  when  the  sol- 
diers surrounded  and  killed  it.  Regulus,  not  less  pleased 
with  his  victory  than  if  he  had  gained  a  battle,  ordered  its 
skin  to  be  sent  to  Rome,  and  for  this  the  senate  decreed  him 
an  ovation.* 

Incredible  as  the  Roman  accounts  of  this  monster  may 
appear,  its  skin  was  to  be  seen  in  the  capitol  till  the  time  of 
Pliny,  and,  therefore,  the  narration  is  not  unworthy  of  a 
place  in  history. 





The  Missouri — Length — Color— Various  other  rivers— Indi- 
an tribes — Prairies  on  fire — Obstructions  in  the  river — 
Trees — their  size — Plants — Products  of  the  soil — Salt 
Springs — Salt  petre — Stones — Volcanoes — Good  Spirit 
and  Evil  Sprit — Oars — (Salines  on  the  Arkansas) — Salt 
Mines,  &c».  .,  •>  ,  ,  16 


The  Fur  trade — By  whom  corried  on — Best  market — Coun- 
try at  the  head  of  the  Missouri  and  Columbia — Snake  In- 
dians— Their  wretchedness — Food — Character — Person- 
al appearance — Price  of  a*  horse — Flat  heads — Origin  of 
the  name — Kindness— Honesty,  &c.  ,  ,  24 


Letter  from  Captain  Clarke  to  his,  excellency  Governor  Har- 
rison. .  ,  «  *  26 

Letter  from  Capt.  Clarke  to  his  Brother.      ,      29 


Indian  treatment — their  dread;ofthe  Small  Pox — inattention 
to  future  wants-Kvil  Spirit — Murder — Indians  restrained 
from  murder  by  being  threatened  with  the  Small  Pox — 
Friendship — Indian  Prayer — Death  of  a  comrade — Dan- 
ger from  wild  beasts — Encounter  with  a  Snake — Similar- 
ity in  the  physical  organization  of  Indians  of  different 
tribes — Cause  of  their  color — Hatred  of  beards — Dress — 
Boreing  the  nose  and  ears — Moveable  Houses — Beds — 
Utentials — Food — Mode  of  cooking  meat — Devotional 
Dance  before  and  after  eating — Mode  of  producing  fire — •• 
Apparent  waut  of  affection — Fortitude— -Manner  of  court-. 


ing — Memory — Respect  for  old  age — Money — Physicians 
— Mode  of  curing  the  fever  &c.  &c.  .  ,  35 


Indian  mode  of  counting  time — Names  of  the  different 
months — Indian  Charts — Mode  of  reckoning  distance — 
Knowledge  of  Arithmatic — Civil  divisions — Names  of  the 
different  tribes-Chiefs-Democracy  of  government — Here- 
ditary succession  of  the  Chief — style  of  Language  in  de- 
bate or  Speech — young  men  not  allowed  to  speak,  &.  55 

Dancing — Eating  dog's  flesh; — -Superstition — Dangerous  sit- 
uation— Hunting — Fasting- — Dreaming — Agility — Meth- 
od of  hunting  buffalo — Hunting  beaver,  &c.  60 


Age  neccessary  for  warriors — Implements  of  war — Causes 
of  war — Boundaries  of  territory — Propensity  for  war — A 
war  Chief's  harangue  to  his  soldiers-War  council-Dreams 
— Fasting — Influence  of  Priests  and  woman — Mode  of 
soliciting  allies — Mode  of  Declaring  war — Never  encum- 
bered with  baggage  in  war — Protecting  Spirits — Strata- 
gem— Time  of  attack — Disposing  of  a  conquered  enemy 
— Eluding  their  pursuers — Securring  prisoners — Death 
song — Treatment  of  prisoners — Slayes,  &c.  70 


End  of  War — Pipe  of  peace — Mode  of  presenting  it — Bu- 
rying the  War  Club  or  Hatchet — Belt  of  Wompum — Of 
what  made,  &c.  ,  ,  ,  ,  89 


Poligamy — Treatment  to  Wives — Marriage  Ceremonies- 
Mode  of  Divorcing — another  Ceremony — Children  called 
by  the  Mother's  name,  &c..  .  92 


Great  Spirit — Good  Spirits  of  a  lesser  degree — Ideas  of  a 
future  State — Priests — Superstition — Religion-Anecdote 
—Fearless  of  death — Dying  speech — Character  of  the 
Indians — Love. of  Country — Sons  of  honor  &c.  99, 

240    •  CONTENTS. 


The  two  subjoined  delineations,  of  the  two  tribes  of  Indi- 
ans who  Inhabit  the  country  on  this  side  of  the  Rocky 
mountains,  in  a  summary,  from  the  pen  of  Makcnzie.  107 


Some  account  of  the  Chipewyan  Indians.  118 


Statistical  View.  .  125 


Tetons  Bois  Brule — Tetons  Okandandas — Tetons  Minna- 
kineazzo — Tetons  Sahone.  ,  .  134 


M.  Manetopa — Osegah — Mahtopaneto.         ,          137 


Historical  sketches  of  the  several  Indian  tribes  in  Louisiana, 
south  of  the  Arkansas  river,  and  between  the  Mississippi 
and  river  Grand.  ,  ,  *  •  •«  141 


Statistical  View  continued.          ,  .          150 


Origin  of  the  American  Indians.          .         158 


Obierrations  made  in  a  voyage,  commencing  at  St  Catha- 
rine's landing,  on  the  east  bank  of  the  Mississipi,  proceed- 
ing downwards  to  the  mouth  of  the  Red  River,  and  from 
thence  ascending  that  river,  as  high  as  the  Hot  Springs, 
in  the  proximity  of  the  last  mentioned  River,  extracted 
from  the  Journals  of  William  Dunbar,  Esq.  and  Dottor 
Hunter — Dictionary  of  Indian  words  and  phrases — Ap- 
pendiz,  &c.  .  175